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Worldwide Intimacy

My Facebook account is in Czech, not English language and the owner's address, which is supposed to be me, is somewhere in Argentina. When I receive an email notification, it looks like this:

facebook Milý/Milá Tom, Prohlédne(te si aktivity,
které vám na Facebooku mohly uniknout.
Poc(et žádostí o pr(idání mezi pr(átele: 6 Zprávy (2)

No, I don't know what that says but you could always Google-translate.

My bosses, years ago, told me to create a Facebook account. "It's very important", was the sum total of their explanation. Once created, the account simmered, without my ever checking it, into what it is now. But quite suddenly I started getting emails in Czech. I looked at the strange-to-me language and decided "I'll bet that account's been hacked". That was a pretty safe assumption, perhaps one of those immaculate assumptions.

I contacted Facebook using the prescribe methods, but never heard a thing back from them. I'm still getting my occasional foreign language notification emails. It's reassuring.

I've made fun of Facebook for years primarily because I'm male and it hurts my ego to think that some kid made jillions doing what I did for a living—writing code. But I never took the initiative to do basically simple database management to make people so very happy.

There are lots of us coders out there who think the same thing. And why didn't any of us take that initiative? Fear—just knowing how difficult and time-consuming keeping the database alive would be as hordes logged in. That fear was based on just enough knowledge but certainly not nearly enough. And then there's being in the right place at the right time.

But now Facebook is embedded in the lives of Americans and lives world wide. Facebook—the company--claims that more than 40 percent of Americans,128 million people, visit Facebook on a daily basis. Of those daily visitors, about 79 percent use a mobile device. (World wide, the company has just under 700 million users a day.) You see what I mean about the fear of keeping servers available for all that babble?

As far as reach is concerned, “We have intimacy at scale,” says Facebook’s vice president of global marketing. Never has a platform in advertising been so effectively able to offer both the ability to advertise and track potential customer's wishes, desires, weaknesses, and habits successfully. And because so many folks are willing to share their intimacies online, is so easy for Facebook to wend their way into personal lives. It's an advertiser's dream come true. Remember that old cartoon with a little devil on your shoulder speaking into your ear? Oh, so compelling.

Facebook says (note that my Facebook quote remains faceless) “Advertisers should be thinking about how they can combine this kind of scale and targeting with flexible, creative campaigns that drive results. People come back online every single day because that is how they live their lives.”

Still, Facebook has a ways to go before it catches up to coffee, which is consumed daily by half of American adults, according to the National Coffee Association. If only the Facebook founder's family could marry into the Starbuck's family.

I wonder if they offer Czech language courses at my local community college?


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