“Timeline” keeping it real – sshhhhh!

Facebook’s new Timeline, like fb itself, is still keepin’ it real. The next chapter of social media history, embodied by Facebook’s new Timeline and Ticker, was announced earlier this week at the f8 (as in “fate” ) developers conference in San Fran — see the Zuck’s keynote here. Though negatively received at first (what isn’t?), changes will be coming to a Facebook page near you soon, in the next few weeks, with a target date of September 30 to begin rollout.

But what will it mean for those of us who are …  [sshhhhhh!] … on the pseudonymous side of reality? Will we use it at our peril? I think so. For pseudonymous avatars, the  Timeline presents an intriguing question: What exactly is our “life”? And how will we present it in the Timeline?

Carefully, for starters. Avatars are, of course, undercover on Facebook (unless openly attached to their Real Life scribes). For now, fb wants only real people in its land. And so many of us subatomic pixelated beings are surviving by just keeping our heads down.

Btw, although Facebook’s new Timeline won’t be available to the general public til the end of the month, you can experience it now by signing up as a Facebook developer here. (Or just enter the word “developer” in the Search box on your fb page.) Follow the instructions from Charlie White at Mashable here. Or watch video instruction here. You don’t have to really make an app to sign up as an fb developer; just go through the signup motions.

Warning to undercover avies: Signing up as a Facebook developer means becoming “verified.” This means you will have to give either a mobile phone number (that they will verify) or a credit card. There is no way around this, and it is sometimes a problematic process. Troubleshoot here, or submit a fb ticket if problems persist.

So, how will I present Bay’s “life” in her fb Timeline? Or will I do it at all? I have so many pics of Bay in Second Life that I would love to put up in a Facebook Timeline. Just to remember all the wonderful events of her life.

BUT . . . will this just be a red flag to Facebook to … gulp … purge me? My sense is it would. I think I will use the Timeline extremely carefully, and minimally, especially at first.

It’s a shame. I think of so many other ways that this Timeline could be used, other than for real people. You could present a “Timeline” of a poem or a story that you are writing. Or of a piece of music. Or a character you’re developing in a book you’re writing. My imagination takes off. But of course Facebook doesn’t want fiction. It wants real people, real events, and … reality.

I have used scrapblog to develop stories sometimes, but it is clumsy for what I have to do, and storytelling is not its real intent. Facebook’s Timeline is exactly what I want:  nonlinear, easy, interactive. But it’s for real people only. Sadly, no avatars need apply.

Here are a couple of fb’s vids about the new Timeline and its cousin, the “Ticker.” Coming soon to a Facebook pages near you.

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