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BLOG: Facebook's new timeline layout: A getting-started guide

Ian Paul | Sept. 25, 2011
Facebook's new profile layout, Timeline, promises to turn your Facebook account into an online scrapbook.

Check Your Birthplace

You don't have to do this, but if you want to include information about your birth, the first thing you should do is see if Facebook got your birthplace right. It looks like the social network assumes you were born in the location listed as your hometown in your profile. But for many people, myself included, your birthplace is not necessarily your hometown.

I consider my hometown to be Regina, Saskatchewan (it's in Canada, look it up), because that's where I spent the bulk of my childhood through high school. But I wasn't born there. The good news is that if you change your birthplace, it won't change the place listed as your hometown.

Timeline might inspire some grumbling from people who prefer the old profile page, but, in my experience, the new layout is a great way to see your Facebook content. It also has privacy advantages since you can see just how much of yourself that you have shared on Facebook. A sobering look at your personal data online may just inspire privacy-minded individuals to permanently delete some items from their Facebook profile.

But there are also some privacy concerns you need to consider.

Facebook is essentially providing the opportunity to include very personal data into your profile such as your medical history. Sure, that's a part of your life, and some people may enjoy including this data in their profiles to share with friends. But before you go adding your chemotherapy history to your Facebook profile, you may want to consider long and hard about whether this is information you want residing on Facebook's servers.



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