The Weekly Geek: The Facebook Mystique


It’s official: The ultimate (thus far) social networking site, Facebook, has hit an astronomical 200 million users. In order to celebrate, the site has launched Facebook for Good, a sort of charity/advocacy hub in which users can purchase “gifts” in which the cost goes to your organization of choice.

With several environmental/AIDS relief/peace/hunger/shelter charities onboard, it’s pretty easy to give and receive a little instant karma. It’s really a fantastic, high-minded means of celebrating Facebook’s overwhelming success. If only there was a dedicated more-lesbians-in-TV fund. I’ll volunteer to create the logo, if anyone’s interested.

I can’t get over how enormous the site truly is — and to think, it all came from the mind of a college kid (CEO Mark Zuckerberg) and pals, who thought it would be fun to play on peoples’ need to share details about themselves. In fact, I remember how, in the twilight of my own college years, the site was exclusive to university students. Many 20-somethings were seriously angry when they heard that their own personal playground was going to go public. You should’ve heard these folks once their parents (or even grandparents!) signed up and saw their, ahem, “compromising photos”. Now, it’s absolutely a fact of life, a procrastination tool and mild stalking aid for over 200 million people.

It’s so big and ubiquitous that there’s even a scandalous book and a major motion picture on their way, detailing the seedier details of the site’s genesis &mdsah; which I personally cannot wait for. I’m hoping for something a bit like 21 — the story of another brilliant, ultimately successful Cambridge-based geek, but with teeth.

In other decidedly geeky news, I came upon a Gothamist piece saying that several New York City middle schools are using Nintendo’s insanely popular Wii Fit as part of their physical fitness programs. It’s all part of a pilot program to see whether the video game-assisted exercise is effective and useful for kids.

As much as I love my Wii, I’ve got to say I don’t think it’s a very good substitute for a few rounds of dodge ball. When uber trainer Jackie Warner finally gets a Wii game (it’s bound to happen — several trainers already have sponsored titles), I’ll change my tune.

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