Monday, January 9, 2012

Taking the plunge into Facebook Timeline

I took the plunge recently and converted my Facebook profile to the new timeline feature.  I read two excellent articles/guides that helped me out through this process. The links to these guides are at the end of this post.
What I Found Out
The Facebook timeline, when you create it, gives you 7 days to fix any problems before being published.  You have the options before the 7 days to publish earlier or to cancel conversion to the timeline.  Once your profile is converted and published into the timeline, it becomes permanent.  Well, as permanent as things are inside Facebook.
So, what types of things need to be fixed?  Facebook may convert posts that were limited in sharing; for example, a post that was only shared to family, to be made public viewable.  Everyone should take the time and comb through the timeline to make sure any limited postings are still limited.  If you published everything to all friends, all of the time, then this may be less of an issue.  Facebook in the conversion may not publish important things on the timeline; for example, the year of your graduation from college; or you may want to hide that information.  You can add life events to the timeline to correct these types of mistakes from the conversion.
Photo albums are by default made public.  So, my suggestion is to go to your photos and check each album.  Photos uploaded by mobile devices have to be individually assessed.  So, if you uploaded a lot of mobile photos—good luck.
Timeline uses a cover photo in addition to your profile photo.  The cover photo is public; there is no changing the cover photo setting. So, I have followed the advice of others and used a scenery image for my cover photo and not something personal or identifiable to someone on another continent.
Good for Teenagers
If you have teenagers or young adults in college on Facebook, encourage them to convert to the Timeline feature.  If Facebook eventually forces the timeline conversion, these young people are already prepared and know how to remove stuff out of the timeline before their potential employers see it.  Also, the timeline features allows for them to reflect by year what each one was thinking or what each one was doing at the time.
The Two Guides I Used
I can’t say enough about these two guides.  Just read them to be as prepared as I was when converting to the timeline.
Your Guide to the New Facebook Timeline Privacy Settings:

Everything you want to know about the Facebook Timeline

After reading these two guides, I was prepared to have my profile converted, and confident in what I was doing.