Timeline for Facebook Pages

Yesterday, Mashable reported that Facebook had made
available to Page Administrators the ability to move their Pages to
the new Timeline
format
.
Many users will, of course, complain about the changes. (I think
that’s written into our agreement with Facebook, that we must whine
about UI changes.) But I think it’s awesome and it has the potential
to do some REALLY cool things that government agencies (even public
health departments) should seriously consider implementing.

See these examples from Mashable:

The timeline of Livestrong’s Page that Mashable was shown began with photos of Lance Armstrong bed-ridden with cancer—powerful stuff. Manchester United’s timeline points to its rich history, with the first entry dating back to 1878. Brands can also call out specific milestones—a first sale, major acquisition or debut of a hit product, for example—by starring them so they appear double-wide.

Think about highlighting awards that your agency has won, or
Administration changes, but also big deals that consumed your agency.
I’m already considering how I’m going to put the H1N1 influenza
timeline (links to news stories from when it hit the news, links to
local articles about the first cases here, highlight when the vaccine
was available in Philadelphia, add pictures of clinics that were
running) so it actually tells the story of the pandemic on our Flu
Facebook page. Imagine updating the Joplin Missouri Facebook page with
pictures from the day and those initial storm reports. You know, all
of those things that we’re too busy to do because we’re, y’know,
responding.

Those of you who are paying close attention to my examples above will
notice what I’m proposing. I want to write the story of what we have
done. Consider that from a crisis communications standpoint. Right
now, someone who finds out about a crisis that affected your
organization weeks, months or years after it’s happened will scan news
articles that probably paint the situation as dire or your
organization in a poor light. They will ultimately come away thinking
poorly of your organization. Now imagine if they find your Facebook
timeline and see all of the steps we took during the crisis and the
reasons why you took them; I’m willing to bet if they see your side of
the story, maybe they come away thinking a bit better about what
you’ve done.

I imagine this process will become standard for corporations with
sour bits of history.
Governments will take a bit longer. And many
will complain that it’s akin to whitewashing, but I believe that
unless your organization actually acted with reckless disregard, what
I’m recommending is actually transparency. The second side of a
one-sided story.

I, for one, can’t wait to take advantage of this amazing new tool. You can learn more about the changes from Techcrunch

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One thought on “Timeline for Facebook Pages

  1. Interesting, but I have to agree that governments will take longer. I’m just thinking of all the approvals that would need to be obtained. We take so long to get the final language for a Health Alert agreed upon, how long would it take to get agreement on the appropriate image timeline of an event. Of course, we could always hire a contractor to do it!

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