Happy New Year!

The end of 2011 marks the completion of the earth’s most recent 365-day journey around the sun and the start of a new 366-day journey on the same orbit (2012 is a leap year).

The past year provided an ample inventory of inspiration against which we can gauge our own lives. One unique barometer by which we can measure what mattered in our lives is Google’s Zeitgeist. What is a zeitgeist?

According to dictionary.com, a zeitgeist is “the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time.”

As further explained by Google’s website, “Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year’s 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011.”

One unique representation of this data is the video below which allows you to re-live the top events and moments from 2011:

What was most memorable about 2011 for you?

This past Christmas Eve, when many people around the world were  tracking the timeline of Santa Claus’s journey around the globe delivering toys (with the help of NORAD), I launched the Timeline version of my Facebook profile.

What is Facebook Timeline? According to a Mashable article:

“Facebook Timeline changes the default profile from a list of your most recent updates to a complete summary of your entire life since birth. It includes photos, videos, status updates and locations you have visited. The new Facebook profile is divided into two main columns, with a line down the middle representing the passage of time.”

The video below from Facebook provides a comprehensive instructional overview of this compelling new feature:

I activated the new profile design (which you can do by visiting https://www.facebook.com/about/timeline and selecting the option at the bottom of the page) on December 17th after it became widely available to the public on December 15th.

I was immediately impressed at the ease with which I could view the totality of my Facebook experience (and my life prior to Facebook), from birth (at the bottom) to present day (at the top).

In the week that followed I carefully reviewed my activity, making sure to delete (or hide from my timeline) those that seemed irrelevant while enjoying those posts of significance to me. It was a fairly intuitive process, but if you find yourself confused, there is a robust Help Center available.

So far I am impressed and intrigued with Timeline. It represents Facebook’s unique vision to make it the hub of our digital lives. With the introduction of Timeline, Facebook seems to now be less about faces than it does about our lives in total. Perhaps it should rebrand itself as LifeBook?

I encourage you to activate your own timeline: in doing so you will allow your friends and colleagues to learn more about you, but more interestingly, you will learn more about yourself.

Who knows, you might just have the time(line) of your life!