I believe it was Orwell who said, "He who controls the past controls the future." Well, now we finally know who "he" is: Mark Zuckerberg.
Last week, the world's youngest billionaire CEO unveiled a dramatic new look for Facebook, ripping up the old interface in favor of something called Timeline.
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Timeline is essentially about Facebooking your entire life, from birth unto death, in words, photos, videos, and pointless status updates. It is Facebook's attempt to get you hooked and never let you go, to keep you on Facebook 24/7 except maybe for potty breaks. (Even then, the company wants you to bring it into the toilet on your iPad.) Imagine one of those slideshows they used to present at wedding receptions, depicting the bride and groom from childhood through the blessed event, only this one never ends -- ever.
Facebook product wrangler/Scotch slinger Sam Lessin, one of the key people behind the creation of Timeline, called the old Facebook profile "the single biggest lost opportunity in the history of human story telling" -- skipping right over the unfinished novels of Austin, Melville, Fitzgerald, Capote, and Jacqueline Susann -- but no more, now that Timeline is upon us. (Methinks someone's been spending too much time in the Hyberbolic Chamber.)
Naturally, the social media mafia were drooling all over themselves. This post from Mashable's Ben Parr was possibly the most gag-inducing:
The changes Facebook will roll out ... are designed to enhance the emotional connection its users have to each other through Facebook. These changes will make Facebook a place where nearly everything in your life is enhanced by your social graph. These changes will make it so you know your friends better than you ever thought you could.
On Thursday, developers will be elated, users will be shellshocked and the competition will look ancient. On Thursday, Facebook will be reborn. Prepare yourselves for the evolution of social networking.
But everything wasn't coming up roses and daffodils on the blogosphere.