Monday, April 1, 2013

Facebook's "New" Timeline Is Zuck's Personal Attack on Me

It is no surprise to anyone who has read this blog or visited my Facebook profile or met me for five minutes in real life that I have some issues with Facebook.  So why, you may ask, do I write about it so much?

Well, for one, it is a pervasive part of modern life, and my own active dislike of it, combined with a systemic dependence on it for social planning, has resulted in a deeply-rooted personal conflict that I periodically need to write out in order to make sense of...

And two (more important), these Facebook posts are really fucking popular.  Generally speaking, they help my traffic over here even more (if you can believe it) than the entries about the Gyllenhaal boy that I roll out every now and again.  

Here is an actual graphic of my actual traffic on this blog:

I swear this is the right graph even if Google has put completely irrelevant dates under it.
The first peak, back in '11 ('09 on this poorly-labeled chart), was because a Bud Light can I used in my first Cheap Beer of the Month Club entry randomly wound up at the top of a Google image search.

But the steady rise you see in the past few months has been almost entirely because of a single entry, a post I called "Regarding the Six Friends at the Top of Your Timeline."  It was popular from day one, and has only gotten more so (see graph).  Recently, it's been pulling in about a thousand hits a week.

Mark Zuckerberg, well-known dork and personal foe of mine, seems to have taken note of the fact that interest in my blog entry has soared because when he rolled out the "new" Timeline over the weekend, there are no longer six friends at the top.  (!!)  (??)  (!?)

a) This has ruined my only real source of outside blog hits at the moment. :(
b) This has taken all the fun out of logging into Facebook, because usually when I log in, I get annoyed by, like, the seventh update in my newsfeed, so then I just click over to my profile, take note of the six people at the top, and come back here to discuss wild conspiracy theories with complete strangers.  (This was the best part of Facebook!)

On top of that, he changed up the cover photo so my painstakingly crafted masterpiece celebrating my individuality no longer fits correctly, and - and! - the Timeline itself now closely mimics the layout of the mobile version of Facebook.  So I'm really glad I spent all that time eighteen months ago highlighting stories and making sure everything looked great on a computer screen.  (Christ Almighty.)

Basically, I think it's undeniable at this point that all of these changes were directed at me, specfically, because how could they not be?  That's what Facebook is about after all:  ME ME ME.

I guess the best I can hope for at this point is that, deprived of the six-friends box to obsess over, the masses start searching in earnest for opinionated reviews of Graph Search.  Either that, or I'd better come up with a theory on that new nine-friends box pronto... :-/


  1. Eff! I took an interest in the panel of six and eight friends on Facebook at the beginning of January, and even started to keep track of them on an Excel spreadsheet.

    I suspect that I won't be getting the new Timeline for a while, but it's a shame that my experiment will be forced to end eventually.

    P.S. This soon-to-go feature is how I came across your blog.
    P.P.S. I totally agree with your idea that the friend's online presence can increase the frequency by which they show up on your page.

    1. Well, I'm very glad you found me, even if I'm really sad that I just delivered this news to you. :(

      I know I'm way more emotionally invested in this than I should be, but I've been paying attention to the friends boxes for as long as I've had Timeline and I'm not even joking about this changing my interaction with Facebook. :-/ I fully plan on doing a post about the (new) nine friends section at some point, but I can already tell it's not *nearly* as fun. They don't change when you refresh, for one thing, and for another all of mine (so far) (and annoyingly) pretty much make sense.

      But I'm glad you agree with me on the online presence thing!! Enjoy it while you still have it (enjoy it enough for the both of us!). That alone was so useful in so many ways! :( :( :(

  2. hmmmmm whatever "the 9" are, they haven't changed on my page since I have the new timeline (or since I acknowledged to have the new one lol might have been a little slow on it as I barely visit my timeline...hatin' it)

    and these are: 3 people I haven't talked much if any in the last 6+ month, 2 I talk to on a half way regular basis, 4 I only interact with as we play the same game *ggg*

    whatever zuck wants to tell me with it, I don't get it.

    Annie Sasha

    1. oy, and there I go to see your "not-so-perfect-anymore"-profilpic... but it is gone :(

      mine is a bit pix-ld ... hmmm, maybe a reload helps???

    2. I took the cover photo down. :) And then, between you writing this comment and me responding to you, I put a new one up! The problem was that I had built in a white section with a shadow for my profile picture to sit in, but the positioning changed slightly so the white box wasn't sitting underneath my picture anymore and it looked ridiculous. :( (The new one doesn't have a white box. Lesson learned!)

      That's interesting that your 9 haven't changed... The two people in the first two slots on my top row swapped placed yesterday (which was strange because I had just sent a message to the #1 person and immediately afterward, that person moved to #2 [??]), but other than that, nothing has changed. I don't like that they don't switch up when you refresh! It has me thinking there must be a reason why those people are stuck in the positions they are, and I already know I'm going to put way too much thought into that... :)

    3. *swapped places



    4. they still haven't changed *shrugs*

      maybe I shall someone a message and see what happens - maybe someone who is not in the 9 ... you never know what happens then?? O.O Facebook exploding or imploding, just disappear??? x)

      so from now on we just refer to them as "The 9" ;)

      I am sorry I got you hooked on it :P

      Annie Sasha

    5. Oh don't worry. I would have been fascinated by this no matter what!! :)

      My nine switched a little again tonight! Same people, but two sets of friends switched places. If you wind up sending someone a message, and there's a change, let me know! :D

    6. sooooooooooo...

      I shared something from my peeps who wasnt in the 9 and now she is in.
      I sent a message to some not in the 9 but that didn't change anything.
      Top line hasnt changed, the mid did, and the last is with the new one.

      hehe 3 sentences with the exact same length - without any intend to do so x) well yeah, when life fucks you over and over you gotta smile about those little stupid things ;)

      let me know, when you find the solution -lol- if there is any logic in it.

      Annie Sasha

    7. owww, in the text box all 3 looked exact the same length.... I swear -lol-


    8. The damn font changes between typing and publishing the comment, I know!! Oh, Blogger...

      I'm still working on an experiment on my end and will put up a full post about it hopefully this week. But so far, I think what you just reported was probably more interesting than what I'm coming up with! This one is definitely harder to crack than the six. :(

  3. I do not have this "9" that you speak of....

    I feel like Jessie Spano on caffeine pills
    SO Scared


    - Beej

    1. Hahaha, dude, you are the King of Comments lately!! Also - DUDE, YOU HAVEN'T BEEN SWITCHED OVER YET?! This doesn't work for me, because I'm going to need to talk to you about this.

      When it happens to you, we'll talk. I don't like it. I don't like it AT ALL.

      #soNOTexcited #whereismyZackMorrishug :( :( :(

  4. I don't mind boosting the traffic :) replied to the other thread but as I saw fellow conspiracy theory / algorthim junkies here thought I had better add a few notes. It looks like a top friends list self generated by FB .. my advice is to not be clicking likes,sending messages or viewing profiles for a while and watch as they switch around. They do react to messages and likes by my reckoning but whether profile views ( a FB no no ) are taken into account remains to be guessed at.

    So I won't be posting on my FB for a few weeks , won't react to mundane links and see if the league table ( the 9 FB seems to believe you are closest to) changes. I had a friend who keeps tabs on me from time to time, eneter and leave the top 9 and another who I msg rise up from nowhere to number 6 . One of my 9 is somebody who I haven't checked in on in 6 months but we don't interract as my ex is a friend of both of us.


    1. Mark, I completely concur. From what I've witnessed so far, messages and likes are the major components. I'm attempting to do exactly as you suggest, which is to refrain from all activity as much as possible...but unfortunately, I'm finding that harder than I would like considering the level at which I use Facebook to arrange my social life. (Which is my own damn fault. Ugh.)

      That said, I am closely monitoring both my activity and changes in the 9 and a post on this is coming soon. And please report back when/if you have any interesting results!!! I'm intrigued that your list seems to be more dynamic than mine; so far, my only changes have been in the order. No one has suddenly left or appeared. (Yet...)

  5. And finally we have a nine friends post!! Let me know if you possess the ability to find this configuration more interesting than I do... :-/