I can understand the theory behind the Facebook Timeline as it relates to normal people. Prior to the timeline, the Facebook interface was clunky and not useful for dealing with any sort of information not taking place in the present. The folks at Facebook are quite correct in surmising that the sum total of people’s Facebook posts represents a narrative of a life and, when listed in chronological order, allows a person and his/her friends to easily refer to past events and happenings. It’s like the digital, multimedia version of the photo albums we all grew up with and still possess.
But I’m not a normal person; I’m an Internet Marketer. I use Facebook the same way I use Twitter and Google Plus: to push my thoughts and ideas and/or share content to anyone who will listen to me with the idea of building relationships in my professional/social sphere (some of which might hopefully lead to profitable opportunities).
People examining my timeline would see almost nothing about my personal life. Instead, they would see links to industry articles, link bait, my Tweets and Google Plus posts that get automatically ported into Facebook, and plenty of off-color humor.
Social sharing in the SEM industry is a very different proposition. It’s not primarily about sharing pictures of kids and friends (though some of us will do some of that). Instead of directly sharing ourselves, we use content and ideas as a vehicle for sharing ourselves. We know and judge others not necessarily by who they are but by what they share, how they share it, and who they share it with.
I went back to early 2008 in my Facebook Timeline to see what I was talking about back then:
Back then, I was talking about stuff in my industry, the Portland Trailblazers, and groovy tunes. I was also trying to make people laugh with my very dry sense of humor. Over the years, I’ve made lots of relationships and lost track of nearly as many people. People connect or disconnect with me based upon perceived commonalities in interests and industry (or lack thereof). I broadcast myself and what interests me, and I attract or repel a large number of people…only a small fraction of whom I’ll ever know anything about.
My current timeline is much colorful now, and that’s directly due to the prevalence of universal search results that have led to me and others sharing multimedia much more frequently. More diverse sharing increases the chances for deeper and more rewarding connections with people, and I’ve discovered that my ultra-obscure tastes in culture aren’t as obscure as I might have thought. Amongst my wide circle of friends, it’s rare that I can drop any tidbit that nobody picks up on (including updating my Facebook Timeline photo to the final scene from Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point”).
- Todd Mintz, Senior SEM Manager
- Questions? Comments? Email us at blog at ppcassociates dot com.