Say hello to the new Facebook Timeline

Facebook Timeline

Yesterday at f8, Facebook announced its newest feature: the Timeline, which along with other features will come out on September 30. Through a workaround posted on Business Insider I became a “developer”and therefore can now have access to said Timeline. I’ve only had it for a short time but here are my early thoughts on the big changes:

Cover Photo: Kind of like many of my blog posts, Facebook now features a large photo at the top of each profile. The focus is no longer on your profile picture, but on whatever image you choose to post at the top. I like this a lot because it lets you showcase some personality, which had mostly been left to your status updates/posts.

Timeline: Ah yes, the Timeline itself. The first thing I did when I activated the new profile was head to the bottom of my profile. In the timeline I can see when I was born, graduated high school, joined Facebook (November 29, 2006) and all the major events/albums from then until now.

One of the presenters yesterday made a great analogy to a scrapbook. He was selling us on the emotional connection with Facebook and it made sense. We’ve “collected” all of these events over the years, but unless we’re scrolling down or getting lost in past photo albums, we’d probably never interact with them again. Over the past while, Facebook has been conditioning us to hop on board by showing photos or status updates from years past to the right of our newsfeeds and now I understand where they were going with it.

My one issue right now is when I post something new I want it to be the most visible thing on my page. So, if I click the option to “feature it on my timeline” and make it bigger, would it then be considered an important piece of my life in three years, when all I wanted to do was get more eyes on an interesting news story? Or, will Facebook be able to determine what’s important and what’s not, based on something I’m not yet aware of?

Ticker and Chat: With the new update, ticker and chat (far right) look a lot cleaner and useable. I can conceivably see myself spending time on my own profile just looking at the ticker for updates if I so chose to do so. Chat isn’t as clunky and can also be adjusted in size with the ticker so it doesn’t take up the entire right side of the screen.

One early con: The thing I can see people complaining about is the over-crowded feel of the new profile. Sure you get a lot more personality, but there’s just so much going on, which is the opposite of the Facebook we all know.

What are your early thoughts on the new profile?

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Facebook unveils new pages

FacebookFacebook gave everyone a sneak peak at the new fan page design about two months ago, then went down for a period of time, causing some to panic. Yesterday, Facebook officially unveiled the new changes, which are here to stay and I have to say, so far I’m pretty happy with them. Here are my early thoughts:

1. Separation of profile and self: Of all the changes, the one I like most is the ability to switch between my personal profile, and the pages I manage. Just because I manage a Facebook page, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to answer questions or comment on it as myself, especially for energi PR’s Facebook page, where I want to comment on posts, photos or videos from time to time. Now I can.

2. Photos become more important: With the redesign, photos now appear at the top of the page, similar to the personal profiles. This means your page’s photos will be the first thing people see when they visit a brand’s wall, so it may be a good time to start snapping to keep it fresh.

3. Showcase your page admins: With the option to showcase page admins on the page, brands can add some transparency, where it did not exist before. However, the only concern I have is that Facebook is a different beast from Twitter, where privacy is concerned. Personally, I’m not 100 per cent comfortable with people viewing my profile, but others may be.

4. Peer pressure: When I see a friend of mine has “liked” a page, I’m inclined to check out that page myself, and I may “like” it as a result. This has always existed, but now it also includes the pages you have both favourited. It is also a bit higher up and taking advantage of that valuable real estate on the right column of the page.

5. Notifications: With the new setup mirroring a personal page, there is also the option of emailing notifications to the admins when someone comments, joins, etc. My issue with this is there doesn’t appear to be a way to add an email account other than the one you signed your personal account up with. I would much prefer page notifications to go to my work email, and not my Hotmail.

What is your initial reaction to the page changes? What do you hope to see in the planned changes over the next few months?

My choices for the Golden Globes

Award season is back, as the Golden Globe Awards are airing this Sunday, so of course that means everyone will be making their predictions about who will win, and I’m no different. I just want to say that I haven’t seen all of these movies, and some choices will have to be lucky guesses. Let me know what you think of my choices, and perhaps list your own favourites?

Best Motion Picture, Drama

The Fighter
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Burlesque
The Kids Are All Right
Red
The Tourist

Best Director – Motion Picture

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David O. Russell, The Fighter

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

Halle Berry, Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy

Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp, The Tourist
Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version
Jake Gyllenhaal, Love and Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy

Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone, Easy A
Angelina Jolie, The Tourist

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Christian Bale, The Fighter
Michael Douglas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

127 Hours
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
Inception

Best Animated Feature Film

Despicable Me
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3
Tangled

Best Foreign Language Film

Biutiful
The Concert
I Am Love
In a Better World

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

Bound to You, Burlesque
Coming Home, Country Strong
I See the Light, Tangled
There’s a Place for Us, Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me, Burlesque

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Alexandre Desplot, The King’s Speech
Danny Elfman, Alice in Wonderland
A.R. Rahmin, 127 Hours
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, The Social Network
Hans Zimmer, Inception

Best Television Series, Drama

Boardwalk Empire
Dexter
The Good Wife
The Walking Dead

Best Televison Series, Comedy or Musical

30 Rock
The Big C
Glee
Modern Family
Nurse Jackie

Best Actor in a Television Series, Drama

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House

Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Piper Perabo, Covert Affairs
Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Best Actor in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Hope Davis, Special Relationship
Jane Lynch, Glee
Kelly McDonald, Boardwalk Empire
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Scott Caan, Hawaii Five-0
Chris Noth, The Good Wife
David Straithairn, Temple Grandin
Chris Colfer, Glee

Best Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Lea Michelle, Glee

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

The Pacific
Carlos
Temple Grandin
You Don’t Know Jack

Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship
Ian McShane, The Pillars of the Earth
Édgar Ramírez, Carlos
Idris Elba, Luther

Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Hayley Atwell, The Pillars of the Earth
Jennifer Love Hewitt, The Client List
Judi Dench, Return to Cranford
Romola Gara, Emma

Facebook just got a lot creepier thanks to Catfish [SPOILER]

If you’ve seen the movie Catfish you’ll know what I mean.

It all started when Rel somehow got into contact with this kid Abby who was a child painter. He then became pen pals with her online, with the permission of her Mom, Angela. Eventually he got to know the entire family on Facebook, including Abby’s older sister Megan.

Rel began falling in love with Megan, but issues popping up, including supposed cover songs she’d send him that turned out to be YouTube videos with the same song covered. At this point (I believe), Rel’s brother and friend decided to make the documentary. Further events led to them making a trip to Michigan where Abby and her family lived. Here’s where the twist comes in.

Chris Bumbray from JoBlo.com puts it the best in a quote from the trailer: “The final forty minutes of the film will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride that you won’t be able to shake for days.”

After The Ellen Show clip is the spoiler part, so if you’re not reading on, I really enjoyed this movie and minus the first hour or so, it was one of the best movies of the year in my books. I give it a 4.5/5

After confronting Angela, the movie went from creepy to sad. She was a woman who had given up a lot in life to raise her husband’s boys that required 24/7 care because due to their mental and physical issues. As a painter she came up with the idea of contacting Rel from his photograph that appeared in major publications. Eventually it spiraled out from there.

Forget privacy concerns with Mark Zuckerberg, Angela was able to make a bunch of profiles using fake addresses and pictures of family members/friends, just for the sole purpose of gaining Rel’s companionship (that’s the best way I can describe it). It seemed so easy to fall pray to fall pray to this, which is most scary. She would take to the computer every night after 11pm and go to work updating her various profiles. She kept three phones on hand – one for Megan and the other two for when she was herself.

Facebook is usually for people we know, so when he got to know Abby’s mom, he added her and eventually her family. This opened Rel up to the game Angela was playing. It got me thinking about how rare this could be? Are there a lot of people out there being fooled by these fake accounts? Have you experienced this?

The Social Network made me eat my words

After watching the previews I thought The Social Network was going to be filled with over-acting and over-the-top drama about something as mundane as making a website. I had such a hate-on, I even went so far as to write a post on it. Let’s take a look back at some of the comments I made and see if I can answer them.

“Many people on my twitter stream (of all places) have been shouting out how much they’d love to watch The Social Network … and I just can’t understand why.”

On Thursday night I joined the club. After getting my iPhone back from security (they confiscate all devices prior to all screenings), I immediately went on Twitter and sang my praises.

Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland) was brilliant in his role as Mark Zuckerberg. This guy has definitely broken himself out of the Michael Cera-esque abyss he could’ve easily fallen into.

David Fincher (Fight Club) did an amazing job directing this one. The movie focused on two different suits Mark was facing, one from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and the other from three who claimed he stole the basic idea from them. During these depositions, the story of Facebook was told through the explanations of these characters. In terms of storytelling this could’ve easily become quite confusing, but they pulled it off in a way that was seamless.

It’s over-dramatic and I’m pretty sure has a few exaggerations

This statement I can’t disagree with. The movie was obviously made more sexy and interesting. Even Dustin Moskovitz, one of the other creators of Facebook, says so in an interview with Oh No They Didn’t.

“It is interesting to see my past rewritten in a way that emphasizes things that didn’t matter and leaves out things that really did. Other than that, it’s just cool to see a dramatization of history. A lot of exciting things happened in 2004, but mostly we just worked a lot and stressed out about things; the version in the trailer seems a lot more exciting, so I’m just going to choose to remember that we drank ourselves silly and had a lot of sex with coeds. I’m very curious to see how Mark turns out in the end – the plot of the book/script unabashedly attack him, but I actually felt like a lot of his positive qualities come out truthfully in the trailer (soundtrack aside).”

Is it worth about 2hrs of my time?

Yes. For what it is, it is a surprisingly fast paced film. While I don’t see any of the major awards going to this one, I give The Social Network a 4/5.

One final quote I leave you with from my old post: I won’t go into it with the most open of minds, but if I end up liking it I’ll fully admit it, and then blog my love.

Thanks to the #xpopfilmup crew for putting this together, and to my friend Maria on Twitter for kindly inviting me.

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