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Q: Why is “Facebook” blue?

A: Mark Zuckerberg (friends call him Zuck) 26 year-old founder of Facebook, is red-green color-blind so blue is the “richest” color for him. Therefore, blue is the primary color of Facebook as well as his Palo Alto home (which he found the same way he has found all of his homes, on Craig’s List). If you find this interesting, you’d enjoy a rare peek into Zuck’s persona in the September 20, 2010 New Yorker interview, “The Face of Facebook by Jose Antonio Vargas.

Some other tidbits: Zuck doesn’t own a television; at age 12 he developed ZuckNet, a computer program that would “ping” his Dentist/father when a patient arrived in their in-home dental office; and his ultimate goal is to build something that moves beyond Google and create a new, different kind of Internet (beyond Google?!?).

The Facebook story is set to hit the big screen in Aaron Sorkin’s (The West Wing) upcoming film “The Social Network”set to be released October 1, 2010. Zuck doesn’t plan on seeing the film perhaps, in part, because he tends to shy away from the glitz and glam, described by some as “private” and “awkward.” Sorkin explores this in the film, referring to Facebook’s creators as a group of “socially dysfunctional people who created the world’s greatest social-networking site.”This is, of course, a bit ironic because, as Vargas writes, a shifting definition of privacy is paramount to the Facebook business model. Zuck himself has declared that privacy is an “evolving” social norm.

The article refers to the ongoing tug-of-war about what it means to be a private person with a public identity. Beyond the fact that Facebook’s popularity is well established (at least one in every fourteen people in the world has a Facebook account), many of us have integrated Facebook into our web rituals as a tool in the interpersonal tool box, which some may argue provides frequent opportunity for distraction.  And I think it goes without saying that our students use Facebook much the same. So it is clear to me why the Zuckerberg piece so easily captured my attention: Facebook is interesting and useful, and this opinion is something I share with many other people, including my students. That being said, I would like to ask the ISU community: What is the role of Facebook in our classrooms? How can we best use Facebook in our course? (Or should we?) 

As I close, it seems fitting to announce that we’ve decided it’s time to take CTLT to Facebook. In addition to following our blog, please be sure to “Like” us on Facebook so that we can keep you informed of the latest events and news of CTLT.

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