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ALT TEXT - commonly homes.comFacebook’s Timeline is finally live.   After months of speculation, Facebook announced last Thursday that Timeline would be launched.   There has been much hype, as well as negative feedback, for this new display.  Bottom line, no matter what the feedback is, Facebook will launch this and there are some really interesting tools we can all learn to utilize.   Here’s what you need to know right now, just in case you haven’t taken the step to switch your profile to a timeline yet.

1. Review period – When it was launched last week, Facebook said they were going to give users seven days to review their Timelines before going live.   After the seven day grace period, their Timeline would launch for their friends to see live too.   Users can go live earlier by choosing the “publish now” button. Facebook makes it easy to go live at any time.

2. Journal – Facebook created Timeline to make it easier to follow what is happening  in a person’s life.  People have been writing in diaries and documenting their lives since time began, so one difference is this is more public than diaries of the past.  It’s not your grandmother’s diary, but it is a great way to keep a journal of what has happened in a user’s past.  Facebook dates your timeline from the day you were born, so it gives you the opportunity to fill it  with pictures, report cards, and other things that were part of your childhood. If you do it right, your timeline can be extremely cool.

3. Make a Great Impression With Your Cover Photo: Facebook takes your profile pic and places it in the inset of another photo (of your choice) that stretches the length of the page. It’s really cool. For instance, I used a picture of Anchorage, Alaska at sunrise (see above) as my cover photo, and it looks great with my profile picture set within it. This is a great opportunity to show people what you love to do or who you are.

4. Privacy: One thing to remember is that your old posts will be in your timeline. It’s not like they’re coming out of nowhere, as they’ve always been there. Facebook conveniently puts them in the year they were posted, making it easier for people to find them.   If the posts or pictures were for friends only, they will remain for friends only. Keep that in mind.   Also, if there is a post that you don’t want to remove from Facebook but don’t want anyone to see, there is an “Only Me” option that can be used so that it’s visible for your eyes only.

5. Expandable Posts: Graduating college or getting married is a big deal, and it should be treated differently on than other posts.  You can expand those pictures and posts on your Timeline by pressing the new “star” key next to all of your posts.  Pressing that key will resize it,  so that it stands out as something important to you.

6. Editing Your Timeline: Editing Your Timeline is easy to do.   At the very top of your Timeline is a tab called “Activity Log.”   When you click on this, you’re the only person that can see it.  From here you can edit and remove posts, as well as determine who should see your various posts on your Timeline.

So, there you have it!  Timeline can be  a cool and convenient way to organize your life on Facebook.  Since many people basically document their lives already on Facebook with check-ins, games, photos, and status updates, it just makes sense to lay it out this way. Follow the above tips and you will have a seamless and very good looking Timeline. Good luck and have fun!