How Much Are You Worth to Facebook? is an article by Adam L. Penenberg in the October 2009 issue of Fast Company. Penenberg adapted the article from his book Viral Loop where he explores how people will spread a message, usually on behalf of someone else, to their friends, family and colleagues because of their strong interest in the service/product/idea.
The article highlights how marketers use a few key pieces of information about people, such as age, gender and postal/zip code, that can found on a social network and direct a message at them. A few examples are used to highlight how effective this approach can be in spreading a message. Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook and its current CEO, is quoted to strengthen this point, "The message you get, in a lot of ways, is less important than whom you get it from."
While reading the aricle I tried to adapt it to the higher education environment, especially to the work that is done outside the classroom. We have a tremendous amount of information on students yet we study it very little, especially in Canada, and I'm not familar with anyone taking advantage of viral loops on a social networking site to share a message or advertise an event. This presents opportunities for those who hope to reach students in new and deeper ways. Student Life staff have a ton of experience spreading messages through networks at a peer level so it may not take much to adapt.