How well do you deal with change? Any better than facebook users?

September 12, 2008

AP

“The only constant in life is change” is a phrase I’ve come to embrace over the years.  I admit I use to cringe at the thought of too much change but have learned to accept it and at times, even look forward to some of the changes I experience in both my professional and personal life. 

With the aforementioned phrase bouncing around my head, I’m intrigued to watch how 100 million facebook users are responding to the changes happening within their beloved online community.  Facebook started introducing its users to a redesigned Web site approximately seven weeks ago and its founder, 24-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, obviously was anticipating some backlash since the transition period was pretty lengthy. 

However, by week’s end, all users will be forced to use the new design and the facebook world already appears to be a less-friendly place with protest groups being formed within its online “walls” (“I Hate The New Facebook” already has 700,000+ members) and petitions circulating to convert back to the old layout.

“Any change can be a big deal to our users because this is how they connect with their family and friends,” Zuckerberg said. “So when you move things around, it can be perceived as being not a positive thing even when it’s a positive change.” – Associated Press

So, do you think facebook handled the redesign appropriately?  Was seven weeks too long to give users a choice that eventually would be taken away from them?  How should facebook respond to feedback from its members, the very community that makes facebook what it is and one that hasn’t responded favorably to changes in the past? 

*For the record, I’m a facebook member and don’t care for the new look myself but I suspect I’ll eventually get use to it.