If you’ve logged into Facebook recently or have seen this webcast, you know a new Facebook home page design and status updates on Pages are coming this week. The new homepage is centered around sorting information from people important to you — family (I’d be nervous if I were We’re Related on this one as this level of integration might render them a lot less relevant), coworkers, friends and public figures (new home page tour). The new page design allows page owners to communicate to their fans via news feeds.

AllFacebook.com represents the new change with the following graphic.

You are at the center, viewing the information you want. We are already working on great ideas for integrating these features into our new Facebook application, Status King (as status updates are now more central to Facebook, there are real benefits for Status King) and our future application, MemoryPress. I want to mention a couple things on both here.

Immediate Status King Changes

Appropriately, the text prompting status updates is becoming “What’s on your mind?” rather than “What are you doing right now?” I suspect this is to reflect the way people are sharing links, information, insights, jokes and more via their status updates. Our hot new Status Tees will need to have an option to include the new phrase.

MemoryPress

MemoryPress fans know that we’re planning to bring MemoryPress to Facebook. Used for years for retirements, weddings, anniversaries, etc., we’re anticipating some great ways for MemoryPress to leverage the new segregation of friends, family, coworkers and public figures on the home page, because that’s the way our books have naturally organized themselves over the years.

We’re excited for how these changes will roll over into the API and what developers can do with the Facebook platform.

We have so much going on at FamilyLearn that I’ve failed to blog recent lessons we’ve learned.

First, Novell’s Open Source Technology Center has been a great fit for our company and office space starts at $0.50 on the dollar for accepted companies. Except for a terrible experience with Veracity phone systems and support (how we wish X-mission would get on iProvo!) and a desire for a few windows, the office space has given us everything we need. Commons area, fridge, free hot chocolate, diesel engine backup, data center rooms, conference rooms, an on-the-ball receptionist and just about anything else we could need.

I especially enjoy rubbing shoulders with Robert Stevens and Tim Hunt on a weekly/monthly basis. I’ve learned a lot already from both of them and look forward to getting to know the rest of the companies.

Marta, our sweet custodian, empties the garbages for us every night. She likes to go by “Tita” and our team knows how much she’s improved our surroundings over our previous crowded office in Orem. LOL.

I miss working more around my family the most…I never work from home anymore. Yet at the same time, this has the side benefit of a physical separation between work and family. I am so focused. It’s made it so much easier for me to focus on my family at home and on the company at work.

Connie featured the iMemoryBook on KUTR – AM 820,
a sister station to KSL yesterday. The interview went quickly, but my
wife says I did well. I can say that I learned alot. It’ll open up some
new publicity possibilities.

In C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, Screwtape, one of the devil’s servants, writes his nephew about the importance of disconnecting each generation from all others.

“It is most important thus to cut every generation off from all others; for where learning makes a free commerce between the ages there is always the danger that the characteristic errors of one may be corrected by the characteristic truths of another. But thanks be to Our Father [the Devil] and the Historical Point of View, great scholars are now as little nourished by the past as the most ignorant mechanic who holds that ‘history is bunk.’

Over the last couple weeks we have conducted focus groups and surveys about the Unforgettable Biography and the excercise has proven very useful. We have changed the name and tagline and rebuilt the website, improving it by leaps and bounds in ways that our customers want. The changes are receiving great reviews from our customers so far.

It’s now

www.iMemoryBook.com – collect a book of memories for someone special.

Even though we just released our site, the alexa ranking for today is 60,172, in the top 100,000. I predict this site and product will be a great one for FamilyLearn. Thanks to Paul for teaching me about focus groups.

Two things I love about this post. First, the Unforgettable Biography my Dad made for my aunt turned out beautifully (image on the right). She was really touched by it. I think this may be one of the most important products we’ve yet created at FamilyLearn. Here is all the content in her book. Second, I made it using Photon, a new software that allows you to make posts to WordPress using iPhoto. Aunt Lillian's Unforgettable Biography

Meg Brady spearheaded a program to record the life stories of Utahns and has founded an organization called YourStory. You can be interviewed for $10 and walk away with a CDROM of your interview. You can also submit the interview to the Library of Congress.

After a nice weekend with my family in Idaho, I reviewed traffic statistics for FamilyLearn and the number of new members shot above average, even doubled. After doing a little research about where the traffic originated, I discovered MSN has made their beta search engine live. FamilyLearn holds top positions for family tree and family history on beta MSN and the traffic has begun to pour in. Thank you MSN. We appreciate it.

When I posted about MSN and Inknomi liking FamilyLearn, I really thought things were a fluke and that the site would quickly drop in rankings. On the contrary, it just got better. We’ll enjoy this while it lasts.
FamilyLearn moves to the top for Family History.

Recently, Inktomi seems to be treating us well and has given us first page results for “how to make a family tree” (MSN | Yahoo), “making a family tree” (MSN | Yahoo), “create a family tree” (MSN | Yahoo), and “build a family tree” (MSN | Yahoo).

How do I know Inktomi likes us? Well, their spider collects content for Yahoo Search and MSN Search. Take a look at the searches above in those search engines. Thank you Inktomi for the traffic.

They’ve also listed us on the second page for “family history”.

Even better is the new Beta MSN Search. They’ve given us the #3 position for “family history”. I’ve taken a photo of it just in case it doesn’t last:
family history results at the new BETA MSN Search

If it does last until beta becomes the MSN search engine, then we’d better buy some more servers.

You’ll notice that the pages read well for the search engines, but especially for the visitors.

keep looking »