Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mmmmm, SPAM (Or: A Peak Into the Human Side of Facebook)

I would have REALLY liked to have been at the Facebook home offices when this page was born. I image it went something like this:

A young man--let's call him Joe--in a seemingly endless cube farm, is hunched over his keyboard. I'm not sure why, but I see him as just starting to bald, and unless he regularly uses a hand-mirror to check his crown, he doesn't even know it yet. Sporting a band tee under an open button-up and second-hand skinny jeans, he's got Apocalyptica thrumming away in his earbuds. The overhead fluorescent lighting casts a ghastly pall on the framed photo of Hunter S. Thompson on his fabric wall.

He's finally been given a job all his own: write the privacy settings page for applications, games and websites. He really wants to knock this one out of the park. If he can do this, he might just be able to land a status update or two on the "about" page. He'd be on his way to tech-literati greatness.

The only problem? He's stuck. He doesn't quite know how to marry the tech-jargon of the times with an accurate description of what these particular apps do. Joe acts as any good writer in this situation would. He takes a step back and analyzes the what, when and why.

"Well," he muses, absent-mindedly reaching for a now warm can of Mountain Dew. "They can sure be salty, and some of them seem to be comprised primarily of pieces and parts from rather unidentifiable sources. I really only look at 'em when there's nothing else that appealing. But what IS that? What do we CALL it?"

Stymied, he untangles his limbs from his ergo-chair and heads to the head writer's office.

Sticking his head in, he says, "Hey Ed, I need a word!"

Ed (obviously, he's the spitting image of Ed Asner) kicks back in his chair, leather patched-elbows at his sides, arms folded over his chest and considers our young writer's problem and observations.

"Well, kid," he says, taking his pipe from his mouth. "Seems to me, you've got something spammy there."

And thus a word is born.

MAN, what would I do without Facebook?

Be sure to use, "spammy" in normal conversation, kids. I know I will!

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