Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Commercial: Facebook status updates now mess with my head



Facebook has recently made it's fan and product pages more like individual profile pages. That's cool.

However, it can lead to some unexpected anomalies.

Like the implication (as in the image above) that I'm friends with - rather than a fan of - David Peace.

An implication which makes me slightly uncomfortable. In part because it lends the 'relationship' we have a falsely intimate air; and because it implies I'm some sort of literary celeb stalker when I'm not.

I'm not sure I like this.

It doesn't echo the real world all that well. It's rare in real life one becomes friends with people you are fans of.

And it implies a false promiximity I'm uncomfortable with.

Clearly it's not going to be a major problem - 'The New York Times' showing up like that in a status update will at least not lead to many existential crises on my part.

But still, it's a messing about with online and real life boundaries, in an unthinking way, and perhaps unsatisfactory way.

And that's even before we get on to the implications of what this means for more obviously commercial brands trying to be our 'friends'.

If commercial brands act in this, feels-a-bit-sneaky manner, rather than openly and clearly, it raises the question, 'why would I want to be friends with a brand that acts in this way?'

Hmmm. This one could get a bit complicated.

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