Best Feature of the New Facebook Timeline – See Who Un-Friended You

Last night I posted on how to switch your Facebook Profile over to the new Timeline view.  One of the best features of the new Facebook Timeline is the ability to see who unfriended you over the years.  At the beginning of each year on your timeline it will show how many friends you made.

So in 2009, I had 76 new connections on Facebook.  Now I can select that “+62” square and it will pop a new window that will show the entire list of 76 connections.

Those friends who have the Add Friend button next to their names are people who either I un-friended or un-friended me.  While we are not quite at profile stalking, we are one step closer to see who is NOT stalking you.

An obvious correlation is to see how many people who have un-friended you the further back in time you go.  Check it out.

Step by Step Guide to Enable New Facebook Timeline Right Now

The biggest feature that will impact all Facebook users is the new Timeline which is a view of your life on and off Facebook based on the things you have shared.  I have not been excited about a new Facebook feature in a while, but I have to admit after using Timeline for an entire evening, it was amazing to go back and see what I was doing, what I was working on and what I was experiencing 5 years ago.

The new profile is laid out beautifully and does a good job conveying the most important things that happened in my life.  Facebook announced only developers could try the new Timeline feature, but it is easy for anyone to turn on the feature.  Here is how:

  1. Log into Facebook
  2. Search for developer and choose the first application.  Alternatively you can enter the URL  Grant permission to the application: 
  3. Create an app, give it a name and namespace, don’t worry you won’t actually share it with anyone, you just need to have an app to get the profile.
  4. Choose OpenGraph on the left navigation menu, and create a test action for your application.
  5. Wait a minute or two and then go to your Facebook home page and an invite to try out the new profile timeline will appear at the top of the screen.
Click the invite and enjoy all the memories of your Facebook life.

Netflix Moves in the Correct Direction

Even if no one else understands the move Netflix made today in separating their DVD business and streaming business.  The plan was set in motion months ago when they changed their pricing models forcing streaming customers to sign up for a separate DVD package.

Qwikster, Netflix’s new name for their DVD business, was set up to deal with an antiquated Supreme Court ruling in 1908 referred to as “first sale doctrine.”  The doctrine says:

The doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell, lend or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained.

This is the basis for Netflix’s DVD business, but in the streaming world the rules are different.  In the streaming world, Netflix has to negotiate the rights to stream each movie.  Talking with friends at the company over a year ago, it sounded like a nightmare to do this, and I am not sure how it can scale.

But ignoring the scaling issue for a second, the real reason Netflix had issues making streaming the core business was that the deals that were being negotiated were based on the number of Netflix users (not streaming users, ALL USERS!).  By making users choose which format they want to consume media, it allows Netflix to be able to more easily negotiate the streaming rights to movies.  The argument was that too many Netflix users who were only consuming media via DVDs clicked a checkbox to get streaming too even though they never used it.

While everyone is talking about Netflix’s blunders and their tanking stock price, I hold a contrarian view that they are moving the in the right direction.  Bottom the ship with regards to registered streaming users (Netflix filed papers with the SEC they were going to stop reporting this number purposely), and then pay the streaming rights for the people who really want streaming which will control Netflix’s costs.

Its a dangerous strategy, especially the way Netflix has gone about executing it, but once the fervor dies down, Netflix will be in a stronger position for the future.

How does Syracuse stack up against the ACC?

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse.  We look forward to bringing ACC games to the Big Apple” – Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor

Now that the news is official and Syracuse is joining the ACC, it is time to breakdown how the Orange stacks up to the competition in the ACC.

The football team peaked in the late 1980s playing for the national title in the Sugar Bowl. Syracuse had a short renaissance in the late 1990s thanks to Donovan McNabb and down years by Miami and Virginia Tech.  Since then the program has been inept due to a much tougher recruiting environment on the east coast.  Once Syracuse had to compete for recruits with Penn State and Boston College, but in the 2000s Connecticut, Rutgers and Maryland all started beating Syracuse in getting recruits for football.  Moving to the ACC will only help Syracuse with recruiting.

The competition is going to get more intense as Syracuse has never fared well against ACC teams, though they beat Wake Forrest week 1 this year.  Syracuse football is on the rebound and the timing of the move to the ACC could help propel it even higher, though just as easily the program can become bottom feeders if recruiting does not step up.

The basketball team has never been stronger. Recruits regularly in the top 100 choose Syracuse, and the program has been averaging 25 wins and an NCAA tournament appearance for the last decade.  Losing the rivalries in the Big East was an inevitability as the non-football schools were most likely to get the boot once the conference expanded.  So those crying over the lost opportunities of playing Georgetown and Villanova, those games were going to be lost anyway.

This move makes sense for the basketball program.  The ACC gets two of the most consistent programs in the country (Pitt is also joining the ACC).  Even Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is excited:

“It’s actually pretty exciting,” Krzyzewski said. “I think it’s great for our conference football-wise, even better basketball-wise. Wherever this is going to end up, four big-time conferences or five, whatever it is, you want to be perceived as No. 1 in football and basketball.


Syracuse basketball not only will be fine, I actually think this move makes them stronger. Recruiting becomes easier as the teams are now geographically closer, and the chance for new rivalries with North Carolina, Duke and Maryland.

Syracuse joining the ACC is going to be rough on the lacrosse team. Recruiting will not be impacted because of the history of the program, but the games are certainly going to get harder. The Big East was a weak lacrosse conference, but the 4 teams in the ACC are all strong and usually but 3 or 4 teams in the NCAA tournament each year.

Non-Revenue Sports
The rest of the teams at Syracuse come out winners here too. The competition is closer by thus reducing travel and costs. The ACC takes non-revenue sports more seriously than the Big East, and even have a regional tv contract with Fox Sports TV for soccer, field hockey and women’s basketball. Non of that exists for the Big East.

While I will miss the great memories of the Big East basketball tournament in Madison Square Garden, this move ensures Syracuse’s athletics viability for years to come. The chancellor and athletic director deserve credit for taking a preemptive strike so the Orange were not left without a seat at the table for major conference athletics. I can’t wait to watch the Orange at Byrd Stadium and Comcast Center.

8 years late…Syracuse is going to the ACC

UPDATE (11:56 PM EASTERN) – ACC Conference call at 930AM to announce SU and Pitt being admitted to the league.

Finally, the charade at Syracuse University is over, the Orange are headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference.  What should have happened in 2003 when the ACC was looking to expand, Syracuse got cold feet at the last second, and Governor Mark Warner of Virginia made the ACC and Virginia Tech and offer it could not refuse (a lawsuit).

Now 8 years later, Syracuse went on the offensive knowing they needed a seat in a stable athletic conference before all the seats were taken.  The future of college football is 4 or 5 conferences with 16 teams, and with the remaining 9 Big 12 teams plus the 11 teams in the Big East, it was time to pull the rip cord before it was too late.

Ironically it was the Big East and the Big 12 Conferences who blocked the idea of a college playoff a few years ago, now, essentially, these conferences will cease to exist.  While it is sad for the basketball fan in me to see the conference go away, the football conference has been embarrassing since Miami and VaTech left in 2004.

Reports are saying that Syracuse and Pitt, who also formally applied to the ACC, will be formally accepted as early as tomorrow.  Talking to two people in the know at the ACC, admission is really just a formality, and it appears others are hearing the same thing.

While some alumni and fans may hate this decision, and we all know that money is driving it, Syracuse is doing the right thing by taking control of their future.

Remembering 9/11

Years ago I wrote a post on AOL Journals about September 11th, 2001 and the memories of the day. While I can’t link to that post anymore since AOL Journals was retired at the end of 2007, I still have the text from the post.

The day started like any other for me.  I got to AOL very early, around 8AM, thanks to living 10 minutes away from the office.  We were preparing for a release, and at that time the AIM build machine was in the QA Lab on the 3rd floor.  To make sure all the builds were kicking off properly I went up to the lab at 830A.  The TV in the lab had The Today Show on and in the next 18 minutes my view of the world was about to change.  The build was long done by the time the second plane hit the World Trade Center, but I was not about to stop watching.  Already shaken up by watching a plane crash into WTC, at about 940A, the fear hit much closer to home as images appeared of an explosion at the Pentagon.  Being directly under the flight path for Dulles where planes landing come over the building at about 500 feet, AOL decided to evacuate the buildings.  Life changed that day for me, as it did for countless others I am sure, but for that hour I was in the QA lab will sit with me forever.

One thing I remember most about that day is how AIM kept everyone connected.  Phone lines were tied up and email did not always work, but people’s online presence on AIM was reassuring to see and to know they were OK.  We heard from users for weeks after the attacks that AIM helped them through that day.

On September 11th, 2011 we need to never forget what happen 10 years ago.