|Don't wait to cross over to the new timelines. Check out mine here.|
Don't wait for the new Facebook timeline to happen to you. Instead, proactively take it on now. It'll make the whole process of interface change less traumatic--and this is coming from someone who has written a blog post on the effects of interface changes on users.
Personally, my first impression upon seeing the new timeline design was, "Ugh! Looks cluttered and MySpace-y. Total, absolute yuck!" However, after hearing from other first adopters about how cool it was, I decided to give it a try over the weekend--and I actually think I might like it better than the past few Facebook "upgrades."
How to Get Started
To get the whole process moving, follow these simple steps:
- Log in to Facebook.
- Type the word "timeline" in the search box in the top center of your home page.
- Select "Introducing Timeline," which should pop up as you complete step 2.
Don't worry! The timeline won't go "live" until you click the Publish button.
Quick Tips for Managing Your Timeline
I admit that I'm still figuring things out and playing around with my own timeline, but here are some tips I've already picked up from trial and error.
- Pick an interesting cover image. This image will kind of act as the header image for your new timeline profile page. It's a horizontal image, and it's much larger than your profile pic. Most folks have been choosing landscapes and/or other non-people images, and I think that's a pretty good rule of thumb for getting started. However, don't be afraid to try something else--just realize this cover image is pretty important for setting the tone on your whole timeline/profile page.
- Shuffle your apps to match your preferences. For instance, there are little boxes for your Friends and Photos next to other information about you. But I swapped out the default Map that was displaying with Notes. And you can be sure I'll be playing around with it more to see if something else is even more appropriate.
- Check out all your posts. For some people (like myself), this sounds like an almost impossible task. But it's possible. Maybe just try to tackle one month's worth of posts per day. It might take a month or three, but you'll eventually get through everything. While you're checking things out...
- Hide inappropriate or boring posts from your timeline. In fact, since photos are so easy to find, I've been hiding posts about downloading images. To do this, hover over the right side of any post, click the "Edit or Remove" button, and click "Hide From Timeline." On the other hand, you can also...
- Highlight super important posts. To do this, hover over the right side of the super important post and click the "Feature" button, which looks like a star. I've done this for the month of December on my timeline for some of the more popular NOT BOB posts.
- View As a random Facebook user. It helps to know how others will view your timeline to make decisions about how to edit it. To do view as a random Facebook user, click the dropdown just below your cover image on the right side and select "View as..."
Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Plus, sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.
Check out previous Not Bob advice for writers: