Facebook Gets It – Do You?

Justin Seibert | | ,

Sorry for being short on posts last week. Lots and lots of work. There was also a little matter of being stuck in 1 regular and 2 giant traffic jams last Thursday. Apparently drivers in Pittsburgh and its surrounds had never seen snow before. “What’s this cold flaky white stuff?” “Who cares, go Stillers!” “I don’t remember there being a guardrail in the middle of this lane.”

As a connoisseur of traffic jams and the frustration they cause the human psyche, this was one of the worst. Why? When I came to the end of two of the traffic jams and started moving again, I could see no cause for the stand stills.


Since I had four and a half hours to myself, I started pondering why. Here’s what I have so far. When someone wrecks or stalls out, you can focus your anger at them. (And for you good-hearted people who don’t deal with traffic on a daily basis, yes, if you live in Los Angeles, you will have hatred for people involved in all but the worst kinds of metal-gnarling flame shooting wrecks.)

But no cause is readily apparent, there’s no focus for your frustration. Instead you start making up curse words to scream at the windshield to no one in particular.

Also during my trip home, I started thinking about this blog, which I could not write until today. You see, I had four and a half hours all by myself. I also went delusional and started missing Los Angeles. Ah, but a temporary malady.

Last week, I received an email from Facebook. For those of you that don’t know, they’re a social networking site that was as big as or bigger than MySpace for a spell. Their niche was that they only accepted students with school (edu) email addresses.

I was researching them awhile back for a specific project for marketing to the younger set. Not having a college email anymore, I couldn’t join. But then I received this:

Hi Justin,

Now you can join Facebook! You tried to register last April, before we allowed everyone to sign up.

To register for Facebook using any email address, go to: [url deleted]

Thanks,
The Facebook Team
xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Brilliant! Not only did they hold onto my email address from my previous attempt to sign up, they kept it segmented so that when they had a major announcement that would be of interest to me, they could shoot out a relevant email. I read it and added to their membership roll immediately.

Good: If you collect email addresses, make sure that you keep them on file to use for email lists. Better: Have a system in place to keep them segmented by how they signed up or other relevant information. Best: Give people that provide you an email address the option of how they would like to receive emails, allowing them to segment themselves.

By the way, if you haven’t been to Facebook or MySpace and you don’t want to go, but have a mild curiosity about what pictures you’ll see, here’s my breakdown (out of compassion, I am not including examples):

19 year old abs; 14 year old girls posing with their friends or dogs or friends and dogs; underage drinking / drug use pictures; guys who found much hotter females to pose with them for a quick picture that was later used to infer that this female is either a girlfriend or just one of the many attractive people that associate with him; guys doing their best to look like an extra from Oz; people who were apparently surprised that the Web cam shutter clicked even though they had just pushed the button; group pictures because the person is apparently too embarrassed to see who he/she is; Family Guy logos; Halloween pictures – at least I hope they’re from Halloween; prom pictures; and borrowing from Chris Rock, the guy that’s not that old, but just a little too old to be in Facebook (which would be me if I set up a profile). Also, although some of the categories above would fall under this realm, in general, just a lot of pictures to embarrass their parents.

All I can say is that I’m very glad these sites weren’t around when I was in high school / college. I’m sure I would have had pictures from several of these categories that would have been unleashed upon the Internet for eternity.

Justin Seibert

About The Author

Justin Seibert is the President of Direct Online Marketing. Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. He contributes a wide range of online business-oriented topics, including the subject of exporting. His contributions can be found on publications such as the Pittsburgh Business Times, Advertising Age, SES Magazine, and La Voz del interior. Justin and his family enjoy learning about new cultures during their travels.

View Justin's full bio.
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