We Need To Talk About Facebook

You’re going to be reading/hearing that Facebook is going public this week and likely will have the largest tech stock opening in history.  Upwards of about $10 Billion and all of that is simply because of the epic amounts of personal data Facebook collects from you, that you’ve willingly given it, they can in turn use to sell very specific advertising to you.

But there is also a larger change coming with Facebook, and it means you have some work to do.  “Timeline” is the new interface Facebook has been making available to users as an option for months.  But in the coming weeks, it will become a mandatory move for all users and, that means you probably have some cleaning up to do and decisions to make.

Timeline is a complete chronological re-ordering of any and all information you have ever shared on your Facebook page.  Photos, posts, check-ins, likes, apps you’re using…everything.  So, if you’re someone that used to post and use Facebook very loosely but now are more guarded in your postings, you’re going to want to review all of your stuff and consider removing and/or pulling off questionable material.  The reason is that now all of those crazy party pics or postings about stuff you did years ago that you don’t really want easily found today – because of that new job you’re hunting for – will be there for anyone to find, in a new easy to use layout.   Also, all posts are now posting publicly.  You will want to make sure that if you want things limited to just friends, you have to select that specifically for the post.  It is important to remember that if you’re doing check-in’s, tagging pics with locations and other postings of personal info that unless you manage your account well, you’re making it very easy for anyone to really get to know you.  Whether that be your boss, future employers, relationships or a bad man trying to swindle you – remember what your posting and to who.

Facebook really wants you to use Timeline to go back and post stuff from your life, those historic moments, that you didn’t add originally.  Weddings, births, vacations, car purchases, pets, blah blah blah.  All of it is to better make Facebook a true scrapbook of your existence, but it is really so it can better laser target advertising to you.  The more they know about you and the other 750+ million users, the better and more valuable the information and data they have to sell to advertisers.  Hence, why they will launch an IPO for all that dough this week.

Its suggested that you don’t wait for the mandatory push to Timeline.  Go now, select the Timeline, you can review what your page will look like publicly by pressing the gear icon in the lower right corner of your “cover” (the large banner pic you select to represent yourself).  Once you start the process you have seven days to review your changes, goof around with it and feel better about it before it goes public.

Oh, while you’re at it, please, please, please please.  Change your password to something other than “Password” or “123456”.  Ten letter number combinations, with a capitalized letter in there somewhere.  You don’t want your account hacked, if it is because you made the password simple, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

I changed my account a couple of months ago and have come to like the new layout (seen below).  I don’t post a lot of personal information so my concerns in this area are pretty minimal, but I do now think a lot harder about what I do post and how I tag it before I press submit, and show should you.


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