Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Timeline Helps Illustrate The Facebook Time Bomb

I was a bit surprised over the last two month or so that more folks hadn't already converted their personal Facebook walls to the new "Timeline" version.  Since the old profile wall didn't really have anything going for it.

This only difference you'll experiences on FB, is when or if you click your own name, which few people ever personally have cause to do. (Meaning, normal logging in and using facebook.com, still subsequently looks and acts the same.)

At least now if you choose to, you can actually sort of take a more effective stroll down the memory lane of your social, FB entries and any reams of resources you might have recorded, shared, "liked" or chosen to upload.
I had been using Memo Lane for a while (http://memolane.com/MichaelHulme/) and thought it was pretty cool.  So I was glad to see Facebook finally stooped to stealing other 3rd party ideas like this.

The problem which remains a NIGHTMARE for most of those heavily depending on Facebook is it makes a HORRIBLE digital "silo". ( http://goo.gl/H3pRJ ) But millions of folks are treating it as if they can count on it for just that!  A personal repository of information.  But there is a HUGE problem. They have no ownership of any aspect of the infrastructure nor its contents. :-S

Meaning you are not only unable to assure how long your data will be visible or available; (since you neither own, nor pay a subscribed access to a server;) you have NO functional way of instantly searching or usefully indexing any past entries of data, text, links or media; nor can you effectively download previously uploaded content in a fast convenient way. (Such as Google's "Data Liberation" site and tools: https://www.google.com/settings/exportdata )

The new "timeline" representation, sort of helps folks better appreciate (or shed light on) all that they may have put into their participation on Facebook and the resulting, wall / digital profile / account content / timeline; and therefore remind us all, how little of this vast record can be easily sorted, backed-up or easily retrieved.  (The closest you can come thus far on FB to any data retrieval, is downloading each photo, ONE at a time, and that of downloading your current "friends" list. As far as the latter is concerned, Big deal... This list should already be synced with your smart phone via the installed FB App.)

Such hindrances will become an utter nightmare and vivid realization for folks as they choose to be more and more dependent on Facebook year after year.  A potential catastrophe for many, as more and more celebrations, evenings out, family events and vacations have been uploaded or recorded through one's Facebook account and submitted as 100's of videos and photos; and the smart phones they did all this record keeping with has been long since retired, upgraded, lost and/or replaced, etc... (Since honestly, how many folks are good at backing up their mobile computing device?)

Can you imagine all the photos albums you've ever placed a picture in, or all your families old 8mm & VHS home movies being owned or controlled by someone else; and fostered for their own use, monetization, organization methodologies or even deletion.

There needs to be much better information taught to folks about this "information age"! Resources and training for folk about digital resources in order for trusting users to understand the liabilities, pitfalls and/or advantages of sharing and even creating memories with such services.

(If you are a heavy Google G-mail, Docs or Apps user and you haven't visited your own "Google Dashboard", take a gander at it sometime just to see how explosive all of these online resources and data archives have gotten. https://www.google.com/dashboard/ )

User beware:
Remember the old adage, you get what you pay for!  And if it is too good to be true it probably is.  How much of your own personal money have you sent to Facebook?  Probably none!!  So how much protection of your own personal thoughts, picture and memories are you expecting them to respect and protect?  Possibly a great deal!  ...something doesn't add up...

(And unfortunately, playing & paying for Zynga games, such as Farmville, Castleville, Words W/ Friends, etc., or clicking 3rd party adds, unfortunately doesn't count.)  :-(

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