Facebook Timeline and Stories

I was in another meeting today where someone was complaining about how badly they hate Facebook’s Timeline which all the fan pages will be automatically going to on March 30.  It reminds me of two lessons.  One is that a certain subset of people will always hate change, and secondly that it’s hard to get a good theory into a good concept.

I’m guessing at the theory here, but I’m guessing that instinctively someone looked at Facebook profiles and said, wouldn’t this be more interesting if it told a story?   This is true in most areas of life.  There may be some interest in my grocery list, but it is far more interesting if you know the context of who is coming to dinner, when, what I’ll be cooking and most importantly why I’m nervous.  The grocery list is a data set that we have to make our own conclusions about.  My story of the dinner is a complete story, and like the meal I’m about to cook it is supposed to be more satisfying.

Chronological order is a great way to put together a story.  In fact, most of great stories follow that form.  I think it was that instinct to tell the story that led to the change.  It was great in theory, but hard in practice.  Great social media storytellers have been finding ways to tell their organization in creative ways whatever changes have been made to Facebook.   This change makes it easier in some ways, but not everybody is going to appreciate that.


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