Yoo-hoo! Mark Zuckerberg, can you see my face(book)?

by Yule Heibel on June 23, 2007

I registered my Facebook account on September 8, 2006, admittedly spurred by the fact that it was developed by a smart young guy at Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg. (Ok, so by September 2006 Mark had long dropped out of Harvard! Nonetheless, that old school loyalty worked its magic…)

I was part of the “Harvard network,” but I wanted to join my regional network, too. Well, guess what? It doesn’t exist, according to Facebook. Facebook — Mark?, Mark?, can you hear me?? — thinks that we in Victoria (the capital city of British Columbia) on Vancouver Island (a distinct, separate-from-the-continent geologic fact and entity — belong to a network called…”Vancouver, BC.” This is an insult, not to mention a grave, grievous error.

Mark, Mark, Mark: where did we go wrong with you at Harvard, my dear boy?? Sweetie, we realize you’re just a drop-out, but we can overcome this if we work together, ‘k? It’s not too late…

First thing you must do is GET AN ATLAS. Get a map. I believe there’s a nifty application called maps.google.com around. Type in V8V4J4. That’s my postal code (yes, postal code — we don’t zip in Canada, we go quietly postal…). Note the location! Please note that we are a capital city. (Well, not me personally, not even in the majestatis pluralis, but “we,” the city of Victoria.) We’re a distinct metropolitan centre, located on a large (very large) island. Our city actually lies below the 49th parallel. We’re practically breathing down your neck!

Mark, according to FastCompany, you took art history classes! Darling, that’s where you and I have a bond, don’t you see? I took my PhD in art history at Harvard, and you … well, you dropped out of Harvard’s art history classes — but not before having that key epiphany that only a high-pressure art history course can deliver. I quote from FastCompany:

…by the end of the first semester, with just two days to go before his art-history final, [Mark Zuckerberg] was in a serious jam: He needed to be able to discuss 500 images from the Augustan period. “This isn’t the kind of thing where you can just go in and figure out how to do it, like calculus or math,” he says, without a trace of irony. “You actually have to learn these things ahead of time.” So he pulled a Tom Sawyer: He built a Web site with one image per page and a place for comments. Then he emailed members of his class and invited them to share their notes, like a study group on cybersteroids. “Within two hours, all the images were populated with notes,” he says. “I did very well in that class. We all did.”

Ok, now that a bona fide WEB ENTREPRENEUR has admitted that art history can be more complex to deal with than math and calculus (which “you can just go in and figure out how to do”), I can die happy.


Maybe, that is, if Mark Zuckerberg relents and satisfies the demand of nearly 4,200 members who joined Petition for a Victoria BC network.

Mark! Mark Zuckerberg! Fellow Harvard art history student! How can you ignore this?

Why, even our dead-dog mainstream media has awoken and taken an interest (and believe me, bubbe, it takes a lot to get them to sit up and take notice): from today’s local paper, According to Facebook, the Island doesn’t exist. Mark!, Mark — these people normally don’t notice that their own backsides don’t exist, yet they have registered that you, my fellow Harvard art history colleague, have failed to register our existence. Mark!, Mark — can this go on???

As the art-history-bereft local media point out, “More than 11,000 Islanders have joined a petition group urging Facebook to create a Vancouver Island ‘network’ that would unite them with a specific online identity.”

Mark!, Mark — listen! That journalist is talking about 11,000 people on Vancouver Island who don’t have a Vancouver Island network! I refer you again to maps.google.com — I bet you’ve heard of it, now that you’re out of upstate New York and Massachusetts, and living in California. Hey, I bet you even get to hang out with Sergei and Larry! So look, Mark: Vancouver Island is pretty big — not too dense (sometimes stupid, maybe, but not dense in population terms) — but that makes 11,000 members even more remarkable. The other thing you gotta grok is that Victoria, the city that hangs on the south-eastern coast of said island, is the capital of British Columbia. Dude, I have a friend in the Olympia, WA network! It’s seriously crazy to give Olympia its own network (given its relation to Seattle), but deny Victoria its own in relation to Vancouver.

So Mark, listen up: we are not face-less and we want Facebook to recognize our network — because in terms of social capital, that’s networth.


maria June 23, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Very funny….I bet the crew at Facebook might be having second thoughts about lettings us old people into their circles. But what’ya gonna do? Sooner or later we will all get old and crabby and start complaining — maybe even Mark Zuckerberg.

yulelog June 23, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Oh, fresh-faced Mark (he’s very cute) has a ways to go before he starts falling apart! I’m not too worried about him not landing on his feet anyway…

But we with gravitas (“old” is so last century, I’m skipping back to the one before last!) must on occasion unloose the Sword of Nag (that’s “nag,” not “hag”) and try to drill through the shiny surface of success, too. The youngsters on both the petitions for a Vancouver Island network and for a Victoria network have been too indirect, haggling over the merits of Vancouver vs. Victoria, and about numbers. Mark doesn’t care about that.

Mark only cares about art history — I just know he does, how can he not? (Do you hear my sword swishing artfully through the air?)

Therefore, I appeal to his inner art historian to recognize the pure, nearly platonic form-in-itself of this our fb user-group here on Vancouver Island, or, more specifically, in Victoria (the friggin’ capital of BC). We are unique, a one-of-a-kind creation, not a mass-produced work of art, but an original. We’re not a replica of Vancouver, and that’s why he has to recognize us as a distinct network.

…Otherwise he’ll flunk his art history exam, and wouldn’t that be a shame… 😉

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