Facebook Like Button

I just incorporated Facebooks new like button onto CoplanCommunity. I struggled with the decision, I was torn because I know that this is yet another step towards people giving up what little privacy they already have. But on the other hand, its just so darn cool.
Like buttons: The like button, that you are used to seeing all over facebook(on posts, pages, comments) is used to let everyone else know that you agree with something or apreciate it. It also works as a means to rebroadcast it to your entire social network.
Facebook has taken a very audacious step this morning in allowing for the use of the like button outside of facebook. What this means is that now you can (as long as your logged in to facebook) like a news article you are reading from CNN, or Coplancommunity, or any other site that has the feature enabled. This allows you to rebroadcast articles or almost anything for that matter, back to your facebook profile page for all to see.
What does facebook get out of this? Knowledge! As im sure you have already noticed as your clicking through pictures on facebook there are targeted adds that seem to know you plastered all over. Have you ever asked yourself, how does facebook know I like that? how could they possibly know I need one of those? Its because facebook stores data and information from your profile. Your interests, your likes, your favorite bands,businessesyou follow. This allows marketers to target specific audiences that are more inclined to buy their add. The more specific and the more infomation facebook can give these marketing companies, the more ad revenue facebook will recive for their adds.
I myself am not a huge fan of targeted marketing, I refuse to sign up for Albertson’s or Safeway cards. The reason I choose not to sign up for them isn’t because I don’t like saving a buck, I do, trust me I do. But because I believe the reason they do that is so they can learn your buying habits in order to offer you low prices on a few things they think you will want, while jacking up the prices on the things you will need once you get there. I would prefer to go to a store that tries to compete fairly on all the prices, instead of artificially inflating or deflating prices in an attempt to fool the consumer but I digress.
The reason I decided to incorporate the like button, is not because I am O.K. with online targeted marketing, but not O.K. with the real world application of it. Instead its because yes we are paying the price of privacy, and yes the real reason behind this is solelymonetary, butat leastwith the like feature there arebenefitsto the end user. This allows people to get information out to the masses cheaply. It also furthers the way we can interact with our current friends and find new friends with similar interests.
Facebook is clearly growing, for 1 solid week of March, facebook toppedGooglesas the most visited site in the world. A feet that hasnt been done in over 8 years. They areinnovative, and refuse to remainstagnant, in just three years they have went from being rivals with Myspace, to nowrivalingGoogle. Not bad company if you ask me. I will continue to support Facebook until they give me a reason to do otherwise. But that does not mean they have a free pass.
Zac Coplan