As the number of timelines on our site increases, there are more interesting timelines, but finding what you want has gotten harder. In general you can explore timelines using:
1. Search – enter a keyword for the timeline you’re interested in
2. Browse – featured timelines, most viewed, most recent, etc.
3. Categories – six main categories
4. Tags – keywords that are associated with the timeline
However, one thing we realized is that all of these methods above have their respective weaknesses — most importantly they lack a human touch. What was missing was a way for users to categorize timelines and organize the data in different ways.
We have added two other ways for social discovery:
1) Groups – arrange timelines based on the group’s interests or common themes
2) Fans of – social bookmark timeline creators you like
1) Groups function – Unlike wikipedia, there are multiple copies of the same topic on xtimeline. Sometimes these are created intentionally for an assignment, in which case creating a Group for all of them allows teachers and students to easily see each other’s timelines. The class can also use the Group for a discussion about each student’s individual findings or about the topic they’re researching.
In other cases, Groups allows moderators and members to share timelines they like the most and that might interest other members based on their similar interests or themes.
We hope that the changes in Groups helps you find and participate in interesting timelines and discussions. Here are few of our favorites: authors, celebrities, China, web 2.0.
2) Fans – We changed what we originally called “Friends” into “Fans of”. This change allows you to follow the work of timeline creators or commenters that you find interesting. All of this information is collected on the Profile page which allows your fans to get to know you better. They can see the timelines you created and ones you liked, the timeline creators you’re a fan of, and the groups you belong to. (Note: Anyone in your “Friends” list has been turned into mutual fans of – you’re a fan of the friend and vice versa.).
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the changes, or any ideas for additional improvements.
The xtimeline team