For the nonconformists who thought they could hide from Facebook and escape the required Timeline let me say, “Welcome. I feel your pain.”
With the old system, you could easily find posts made by your friends, but with Timeline users are given more control over who can see what. This means that you (and your friends) must identify the depth of your relationship in order to receive the latest posts. Failing to do this crucial step means the all-knowing Facebook computer will overlook your posts and bury them below others it views as more important.
Those with Timeline who may have wondered, “where are Renea’s posts?” This is why. All users must tell Facebook’s mother computer the posts they wish to see. To do this visit your friend’s page, hover over the word “Friends” and click the words “Close Friends.” You can also identify people as an Acquaintance, or other group such as friends who live nearby.
In order to view posts, you also need to click “Show in News Feed.” An important point is that your friend must also do the same for you. If they do not, your posts will fall behind others the computer systems identifies as having a higher priority. If you have a friend who posts every twelve seconds you might want to designate them as an acquaintance or opt out of showing them in the news feed.
As an author, I meet many people while traveling and conducting workshops, therefore I communicate with a variety of “friends” who –most likely- do not share a common relationship with other Facebook users. Unfortunately, Facebook frowns upon users who send friend requests to people who are outside a circle of friends. (I know, that statement doesn’t even make sense does is?) Apparently some people have so much time on their hands that they randomly try to friend as many people as possible. Now if you meet someone and wish to connect with via Facebook, you should type a message along with your friend request. Failing to do so could result in the system identifying you as a spammer. Also, having unaccepted friendship requests (request that go unanswered) can also label you as a spammer. If that happens, Facebook will block your ability to make new friends for 30 days.
I think the biggest feature that I miss with the new Timeline is the posts. I feel disconnected now, unable to reach out to as many people as I once did and for that I remain discouraged. Others must feel the same way as I have noticed a dramatic decrease in comments and “likes” to posts.
In the end, aren’t we creatures of habit? Aren’t our eyes programmed to search the same place on the screen for updates? Do we really have time to learn a new system?
I can’t recall what was so spectacular about the new Timeline, and that speaks volumes. So welcome, those who were forced to accept the Timeline. Months after I switched, I am still as confused as ever. Remember to designate me as a “Close Friend” and “Show in News Feed” and I will do the same for you. At least we can feel lost and confused together.
To learn more about the Timeline features visit Facebook’s blog here.
Renea Winchester is the award-winning author of Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author and In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes. She travels throughout the South teaching emerging authors how to market their books. She is available for individual and group consultations. Visit her at www.reneawinchester.com