How to turn on Facebook timeline

Here are the best instructions I have found to activate (well, sort of) the new Facebook timeline feature. (Thanks to @Tommy Cummings for getting me started on this journey.

Now you can get an advance look at other early adopters’ Timelines, and you have a chance to edit yours before the official rollout. I was advised that mine will become public Sept. 29.

There’s a lot to review if you’ve been on Facebook a long time, and the interface is a wee bit buggy. It is another attempt by Facebook to take over our lives. I can just hear/read the complaints now.

Take a look. It’s worth about a half-hour of your time if you’re a heavy user. Well, that’s about how long it took me, anyway.

 

The Washington Post goes social with Trove, Reader

I like Trove.

Trove is a product of WaPo Labs. What is it? The real question might be: What isn’t it? It’s a website. It’s a mailing list. It’s a mobile app. It’s on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Trove takes your interests, as revealed by Facebook, and distills them into a reading list of cool stuff that does a surprisingly good job of appealing to you. I’m not sure how I ended up getting Big 12 stuff (maybe because I joined Texas Exes on Facebook — not in real life). I see things about 30 Rock, Houston (my hometown) and digital cameras. Just when you might get bored, something new comes up.

You can sign into trove.com and see your selections there. My stuff is emailed to me, and I find that I click on it more often than any other mass-produced email, and I get emails from everywhere (Container Store to Jockey).

All this is relevant because Trove is part of the new Washington Post Social Reader. The SR, if I may coin an acronym, is another in the continuing effort to build content selections on reader (and friend) interests. Is this the media of the future? Will serendipity simply go by the wayside?

Check out Social Reader on Facebook. You might find it an interesting way to pass the time and uncannily good at meeting needs you didn’t know you had.

Button-down networking

Now playing in your friendly Facebook neighborhood: The Wall Street Journal, which introduced a social news app today. It’s kind of old-media-meets-new-media with a pricetag.

WSJ screen

All the news that fits on the screen

Does it work? Maybe … although I could be the least reliable leading indicator ever. I was lecturing to a class that I didn’t think viewing the net on a cell phone would ever work very well even as the audience was updating their MySpace pages using that very device. (OK, it was the ’00s, after all.)

But what makes The Journal experiment unique is that it is expected to start charging in a month or so. What then?

I should say that I believe nothing should be free on the Internet. I don’t care if information wants to be free. If it’s worth a damn, people should compensate the creator. If it’s inferior, why are you wasting your time?

But, even so, what makes the Journal think that people will get so hooked on reading their favorite editors’ selections that they will pony up? Frankly, I can’t see it.

Brand yourself

Cattle with brand

Photo by Doc Searls

Since I was laid off from The Dallas Morning News, I have become aware of a whole wide world out there beyond the bylines.

And, it seems, everyone has (or is) a brand. Think Coca-Cola. Caterpillar (hello, Joe). McDonald’s. And that institution where I am typing now, Starbucks.

I looked up “brand” on Wikipedia, hoping to find a Creative Commons photo I could use to illustrate this. I was going for a cattle brand. What came up instead was a Coca-Cola logo. See?

It’s really an identity thing. If you can ‘t define your brand, you don’t know who you are. And if you’re job-hunting, which I am not afraid to admit I am, you need a brand more than most people do.

What’s your brand? I’m still working on mine.