Facebook Timeline: Want It Or not, Here It Comes


Some have been awaiting this news, others have been dreading it.

Earlier today, Facebook annnounced via their blog that Timeline is being rolled out to all Facebook users, whether they want it or not.  Once you get it you’ll have just 7 days to edit your Timeline content before it will be available to all to see.

“Last year we introduced timeline, a new kind of profile that lets you highlight the photos, posts and life events that help you tell your story. Over the next few weeks, everyone will get timeline. When you get timeline, you’ll have 7 days to preview what’s there now. This gives you a chance to add or hide whatever you want before anyone else sees it. 

You can learn more about these new features by taking the quick tour available at the top of your timeline. If you want to get timeline now, go to the Introducing Timeline page and click “Get Timeline.” Or you can wait until you see an announcement at the top of your home page.”

Facebook had stated in an earlier blog that Timeline would eventually be mandatory for all users, so this news was semi-expected.  Still, Facebook users who don’t like the Timeline interface could have a hard time getting used to the new look Facebook.

My thoughts

I have been using Timeline for the last few months to test it out, and for the most part, actually like the interface.  While it makes certain aspects of Facebook much harder (Facebook gamers will hate it), it does give a structured display of your life online, or at least, the life that you want others to see.  You control all the information on your Timeline, so don’t panic about your most intimate details being blasted to the interwebs. 

I haven’t had any major issues with Timeline as yet, and would rate my experience at about 8/10.

Potential Issues

As expected with any new feature, there is always at least some form of controversy.  Internet News service, WebProNews posted an interesting article about Timeline today that has a section regarding privacy groups claiming Timeline is a breach of users privacy.  Have a read of the WebProNews article here.

What are your thoughts on Timeline?  Are you a Timeline user already?  Please post your thoughts in the comments below.

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How You Can Get The New Facebook Timeline

One of the most anticipated launches of 2011 has to be the exciting new Facebook Timeline. Unfortunately, there has been no release date given as to when the Timeline will be rolled out globally, but did you know that you can beta test the Timeline yourself, today? The image below is my Facebook Timeline, which I captured just today. Click the image to view a full size version in detail.

Facebook Timeline

So how can you, the everyday Joe Blogs get your hands on the Facebook Timeline? All you need to do is register as an Open Graph developer on Facebook, and follow a few simple steps.

Luckily for us, Jeff Dunn at Edudemic.com has put together a fantastic article that outlines the process in simple steps.

As the Timeline is still being developed, it’s important to note that:

  • Your Timeline is not live, so the general public will only see your regular profile
  • As the Timeline is in testing, it may be buggy
  • As the Timeline is in testing, loss of data may occurr
  • The Timeline rocks! (not so important, but i’m sure you’ll soon agree with me)

If you’re keen to see what Facebook have planned, don’t hesitate, get your Timeline testing page today!

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Ebooks Or Printed Books – Which Are Better?

It’s a question that has been asked time and time again; what is better for you, reading from a traditional book or reading from a digital book (e-reader)?

Ebook Vs BookVeena Bissram, a communication specialist recently posted a great article on the Social Media website, Mashable, which highlights a study on the issue of reading.

The study, undertaken by Research Unit Media Convergence of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with MVB Marketing highlights that at the end of the day, it makes absolutely no difference.

“There are no disadvantages to reading from electronic reading devices compared with reading printed texts,” the study showed. Professor Dr. Stephan Füssel, chair of the Gutenberg-Institute of Book Studies and spokesperson for the Media Convergence Research Unit at JGU also states that in reference to cultural issues regarding reading, “There is no (reading) culture clash – whether it is analog or digital, reading remains the most important cultural technology,”.

So what bought this study about? According to Veena Bissram,

The study was conducted after readers in Germany became skeptical about reading from electronic devices like ereaders and tablet PCs compared to traditional printed books.

Participants in the study read a variety of texts with different levels of understanding on an Amazon Kindle 3, Apple iPad and in print. Their reading behaviors and brain activity were examined using an EEG machine and eye tracking tools.

Be sure to head over to Mashable and read the full story today.

Read my review on the Sony PRS-350 SC Pocket Ebook Reader.

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Google+ Hits 50 Million Users And Growing 4% Per Day

Google Plus YouIt’s quite remarkable how competitive the Social Media industry is, with all the major players trying to out-do each other.  If you’ve been watching the news lately you would have heard all about the major upgrade coming to Facebook soon called “Timeline”.  Twitter is as strong as ever and Social Sharing apps such as Foursquare and Getglue just keep getting stronger.

But all of this, with maybe the exception of the Facebook news pales in comparison to the latest figures coming out of Google+.  According to self-confessed Google Stats guru, Paul Allen, Google+ recently hit 50 Million users… in just over 80 days!  To put this in perspective, Facebook took more than 1000 days to reach that same milestone.

In his recent blog post, Paul Allen suggest that Google+ could be gaining as many as 2 million users per day! 

Josh Wolford mentioned Mr Allen’s methodology in a recent article where he explains it as:

“Allen’s methodology involves using U.S. census data to track certain rare surnames across Google+. He uses that data and extrapolates it across the world to produce an estimation on total user population. Previously, Allen said when Google+ would be hitting the 10 million and 20 million marks, and was pretty much correct.” (source)

The 2 points that Paul Allen highlights are that Google+ has picked up 50 Million Users while still flying relatively under the radar, and more importantly, that it could be gaining at a rate of approximately 4% (2 million new users) per day!

As he also points out in his article, it’s nearly impossible to imagine Google+ not hitting the Billion user mark before too long simply because of the reach they have.

“By integrating +1 and Circles (targeted sharing) and other Google+ functionality into its Chrome browser, Android phones (and tablets), Gmail, Google Reader, Blogger, Google Photos, and other properties, Google+ will give its more than one billion users repeated chances to sign up for and use the functionality of Google+. Like the Chrome commercials say, “the web is what you make of it.” And with Google+, you can make so much more of it that ever before.” (source)

Between Facebook’s new Timeline and the explosion of Google+, are we seeing the emergence of true Social Media / Social Networking super-powers?

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Top 5 Signs You’re Addicted To Twitter

TwitterAddictI found an amusing article today on Site Trail that offers a lighthearted view at Twitter users.  Aptly named “Top 5 Signs You’re Addicted To Twitter”, author Tony Smith offers up 5 very funny, yet incredibly accurate signs that you may have gone around the point of no return with our favorite 140 character micro-blog site.

Ever found yourself constantly distracted with thoughts of your Twitter feed or broken out in a cold sweat when the Twitter API refuses to respond?  You could be addicted to Twitter! 

Don’t laugh, well, DO laugh actually, because lets be honest, the very thought of being a Twitter Addict brings a smile to the face.

Here’s an exerpt from the site:

“As funny as it sounds, Twitter addiction actually is a real problem for some people. Twitter is fun, but overindulging in anything can lead to problems. If you are reading this, then you might suspect you are a Twitterholic or you just think the concept of Twitter addiction is funny. Either way, if you think you might be addicted to Twitter, here are five ways to know for sure.”

So what are the 5 signs?

  • Constant Distraction
  • Inappropriate Tweets
  • Over Capacity Anxiety
  • Twitter Relationships Rule
  • Twitter Judging

to read the full article on Site Trail.

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Empire Avenue: The next big thing in social media?

This article was written by Douglas Idugboe and originally published on Smedio.

Empire AvenueIs it a game, a social media exchange, a social media measurement tool or a rating system? Empire Avenue has been the eye candy of the social media world since the last month or so. Being an avid admirer of innovation in social media, I couldn’t resist the temptation to jump aboard the Empire Avenue bandwagon.

What is Empire Avenue?

To be honest, I think it’s difficult to design Empire Avenue in one word. It’s a social media exchange – part game, part ratings that simulates a virtual stock market based on social interactions and the concept of online influence. It provides a stock exchange platform where you can literally buy and sell shares in your ever-expanding network and be rewarded for your strategic thinking and tactful maneuvers. There’s an Empire Avenue website and an associated Facebook app which doubles up the fun.

How do you play Empire Avenue?

It’s a virtual stock market game that thrives on social media. Every new user who signs up becomes a “stock” that can be bought and sold using play money. Whether anyone buys your stock depends on your perceived value which in turn is determined by 1) how many people have bought shares in you and 2) how active you are on leading social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

In my opinion, the underlying concept behind Empire Avenue is simple yet brilliant – it leverages a person’s social media activity graph/ popularity to determine their net worth. The more active you are on social networks, the higher your stock price goes.

Why Empire Avenue?

Empire Avenue provides a fun way of tracking your ability to leverage social media effectively. It serves as an invaluable social media exchange and connects you to some of the best minds (me included) in the social media world. In business terms, Empire Avenue can be used to connect with individuals for recruitment, advertising or reaching out to like minded individuals.

Moreover, since your perceived value is at stake, it gives you another reason to be serious about your social media endeavors.

Business Perspective

It would be foolish to write off Empire Avenue as just another social media game/ pass time. A number of heavyweights including Audi, FORD and Intel have joined the Empire Avenue bandwagon and I’d expect other leading B2B brands to be on board sooner than later.

Buy me out!

I’d encourage my readers and followers to join Empire Avenue and purchase my shares. Here’s a link to my profile – I am still pretty inexpensive but it’s a matter of time before my shares skyrocket

Have you explored Empire Avenue as yet? Do you think modern-age tools such as Empire Avenue will redefine the concept of social media exchanges? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.

Click here to join Empire Avenue now!

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