Saturday, January 7, 2012

A New Year Checkup – Facebook: Step 1 - The Timeline

It’s a new year and it’s time for social media types to be more conscientious about their social outposts. As part of a focus on social media strategy this is the first in a series about Facebook.

Get ready for Timeline

First, consider whether you want to stay on Facebook once Timeline becomes the default way you interact on Facebook. Some privacy advocates are now concerned that the new Timeline will allow Facebook even more access to your information and will then share that data with others (businesses). For example the Electronic Privacy Information Center has sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission outlining its concerns that Timeline violates the 2011 agreement between Facebook and the FTC on user privacy.

But if you aren’t ready to bail on Facebook yet you need to understand that sooner or later you will be on Timeline and how it will affect the information others will see on Facebook.

Timeline gives a much more personalized presentation of information, with a large photograph at top and a timeline of all your Facebook updates – a virtual scrapbook of your Facebook life. On the upside, users can fill in missing moments from birth until present day. On the downside, every update, every photograph you’ve placed on Facebook or been tagged in and every ill-considered or likely-to-be-taken-out-of-context moment is there.

That’s why you need to spend some time today, or at least this week, switching to Timeline (see links below) and looking through your Facebook history.

Once you switch to Timeline only you will see your profile in this new way for seven days. This grace period allows you to hide or delete material that you don’t want the world to see. For example, I’m not very active on Facebook, but in 3-plus years I had made several comments that, taken the wrong way and out of context, could seem unkind, rude or worse. They are now gone from public view.

It’s an irony that Timeline is really Facebook’s acknowledgement that it has been saving much of your data, even after you delete it. If this is a big concern for you … remember, you can always leave Facebook.

How to:
Enable Timeline With One Click
Decide How to Set It Up; What to Do and What to Avoid

Was this post helpful? What has been your experience with Timeline?

Related links:
Facebook Checkup Step 2 - Privacy-Friends
• Facebook Checkup Step 3 - Lists
Facebook Checkup Step 4 - Final Checkup

3 comments:

  1. The information was always there, and was always accessable...if youve ever tried going back thru your status updates youd find that you could keepgoing back until your first post. timeline just takes the things that seem like bigger moments (engagements, weddings, new jobs, posts with lots of comments, etc) and brings them to the forefront in a more aesthetically pleasing way.

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