In the digital lives of today, chronology is everything. Our experiences are mapped out via timelines, and every turn of events is a narrative without a beginning or an end. This is a change of culture which has mostly been brought about by the concurrent social and mobile revolutions. Together, they have supplied us with the platforms and the technologies to make both real-time updates, and later access to them, a reality.
This functionality, of course, opens up the possibility of constructing compelling stories from real-life events. Sadly, the selection of elegant, reader-friendly tools with which we can deliver our reports is painfully limited. Social networks are nothing better than pragmatic, and the structure of a blog is not inherently suited to multimedia.
Hence, I’m very interested in trying Line. It is a new platform dedicated entirely to the creation of multimedia-rich timelines, and their subsequent presentation in a beautifully minimal, Medium-like design. But can it really provide the format that digital storytelling has been crying out for?
Timelines are useful in many different ways, whether for a student project, as a teaching aide or simply as a way to visualize events that have happened in our lives. Unfortunately, many timeline tools are cumbersome and inflexible, making timelines a not easily viable option. Preceden, however, turns that totally around.
Preceden allows users to create timelines in a matter of minutes, with as much or as little content as desired. Timelines are easily organized and shareable, but can easily be kept private if needed. The timelines can be shared online or in physical form thanks to the features of Preceden. Read on to learn more about how the application works and what I think about it.
As Facebook Timeline slowly rolls out to the scores of people on the world’s largest social network, there seems to be a lot of resistance. It is the same song and dance as always: Facebook makes a change, people complain en mass about that change, and then they get used to it and no longer care. I’d be surprised if Facebook’s constant evolution has cost them even 1% of their 900 million active users.
However, things do seem a bit different this time around. Our very own Oliver de Looze recently published a nice oped piece titled, Facebook Timeline- Friend or Foe?, where he voices his concerns about the new layout, primarily Privacy. After reviewing the new Facebook Timeline back in October, and then using it since then, I’ve got a different perspective on it.
It cannot be denied that Facebook is now a large part of most people’s lives. For many of us, its use involves catching up with friends, organising events and sharing our experiences of the world around us. With over 900 million members, there is no doubt that Facebook is the de facto social network on the planet, the time of Myspace has definitely passed and more and more people are now migrating to Facebook from other social networks that were perhaps more popular in local areas (Bebo in the UK, for example).
For a product with so many users, Facebook seems to be incredibly quick to change its designs and layout. Is this actually a good thing for users, and can they possible keep changing without facing a sharp user backlash?
Facebook held a keynote at their f8 conference yesterday, demonstrating a bunch of new stuff, most importantly Timeline, the new face for profiles. Timeline is changing Facebook’s approach to user-centric pages drastically. It’s concentrating on showing a view of a person’s life, as shared through Facebook and a bunch of associated apps. I’ve been playing with the developer release of Timeline since it was announced, and have got to say, I love it!
The design changes Facebook is currently undergoing are fantastic, and look great on the site, but we shouldn’t forget the humble, dorm-based beginnings of the world’s largest social network. As the company has grown with more and more (and more and more and more) members, the design has seen many refinements. We’re going to have a look at it’s design timeline today, to get a glimpse of where it started and where it’s headed, at least for now.