Look! Up in the Sky: It’s a bird. A Paper Bag. A Timeline

True story- You’re not ready for Timeline. When the Facebook Timeline was introduced, so many naïve, euphoric and easily swayed Facebook users rushed in to get it. In my head, I could hear the UB40 lead singer chime a familiar adage- only fools rush in. And so I sat back. Waiting for the torrent of complaints and curses from my friends who had flown into the Timeline web of showing how they are ‘with it’.

I could not understand why, just a few years back, friends were up in arms protesting on what was then called the ‘new Facebook look’. Now, if I had a 20 bob coin for every person I heard asking how they would revert back to the old version after changing to Timeline, I’d be swimming in then like Donald Duck

Once in a while, I visited a poor friend who had towed the Timeline and I shook my head in dismay. I even went as far as telling my colleague with oblong black-rimmed spectacles that if she ever time traveled on the line she was only discouraging those like me from visiting her page. Suffice to say she stayed put in solidarity with me. No timeline. The same went for the rest of my colleagues

And so in ‘our’ conservative and highly critical world we dwelt. We had vowed never to plot alongside this evil time line that was confusing. It looked like a family tree. And where was the wall that we so loved to write on? I mean, many of us growing up wrote on walls- from those at home to the latrines to the government office (disclaimer: this is not a confession)- and the Facebook wall is just but an extension of our ingrained penchant to write on walls since we learnt how to hold a marker or pen.

Anyway, why I’m I ranting like an Irishman who jus spilled his last pint of beer? I’ll tell you. It is news to me, accidentally I might add, that I have come to learn my friends and I still caught up in the ‘old’ Facebook will be migrated to the Timeline on 30th March 2012. Holy Moses! How could that be- all my defiance and resistance to time travel was rushing by me fast, I could hear the wind whistling by my ears. Twitter did the same thing to me the other day and for a while, I never knew how to look for my mentions- until a Good Samaritan with oblong black-rimmed spectacles offered to help me (I should mention that she was helped too!)

So what do these changes on the social networks mean for brands and their owners. Note that those of us with just plain Facebook accounts are brand owners- you just choose to call it your wall or page, but come to think of it, many of your friends know and interact with you on it. You are a person brand. For a while now, brand owners have come to embrace the role of social media in brand building.

The only challenge is that even before some of them come to be conversant with one, changes are made and are forced to reacquaint and quickly adopt the new developments. I’ve been seeing job vacancies for social media consultants of late on our dailies and my heart beats faster. For some reason, I’m glad not to feel guilty for the much time I spend on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr and other social networks. But I’ll not get into that until I add that title to my CV.

So here is my SquaredFactor opinion on the social networks, change and early adopters. Everything is dynamic- from what we call the traditional media to new media. Different ways of reaching brand stakeholders (and our friends/followers) will always come up. But before you rush to adopt a change learn the basics and then move on slowly. So many of us have been caught flatfooted on adopting the Timeline, when all of a sudden, an embarrassing old rant post (now called a story) from campus days in 2002 is now easily available.

On the same breath, brands and those of us that are early adopters of the Timeline and its new features have a head start on winning new followers and increase their engagement, as the late adopter gropes around trying to find their way about. For help, I have taken the liberty and will ask you to click here

Still, I’m not clicking on that green button to changeover. I’ll wait and see what happens on 30th March. But I’ll check my settings again to confirm if they have been carried over! Whose with me?


2 thoughts on “Look! Up in the Sky: It’s a bird. A Paper Bag. A Timeline

  1. Bravo, well said. Looking through your posts is so refreshing. You eye on brands is impeccable. Keep writing. I love your posts especially this one. “Resistance is futile”, lol to those who refuse to move on with the time. Technology is changing so fast I can’t keep up sometimes and I’m at the hub of it in my career. Things are moving so fast.

    • Thanks Miriam- for your observations and support. Indeed, software and hardware upgrades are happening so fast, we’re not getting enough time to even to use the current versions. Nevertheless, the brands that keep up are always ahead in finding new ways to engage their audiences while the rest catch up.

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