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Do You 'Like' This?

About a month ago, I wrote about Facebook's new "like" button, which is part of an effort to catalog the most popular content on the Internet. This Facebook tweak grabbed a lot of attention (as did recent concerns over privacy)—but the social-networking site has also made quieter changes regarding how it groups people and their data.

I first noticed this a few months ago when I began receiving updates from Judas Priest, a band I half-jokingly added to my favorite music section a few years ago. My page was starting to get clogged with advertisements to buy the 30th-anniversary edition of British Steel—and I saw how Facebook had come a long way from its beginnings as a way to keep in touch with your college friends.

It's now also the world's greatest marketing tool.

Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old Facebook founder, recently said (in a leaked conversation) that he can't believe that people willingly give him so much of their private data. (This being an alternative weekly, we can tell you that he didn't say "people," so much as "dumb fucks.")

Previously, if you listed a band or movie as a favorite, you could easily find which of your friends also like it. Now, all of these fans have been brought together under Community Pages that anyone can set up. One of my Facebook friends recently created such a page for/about himself (which contains various facts about him that would make Chuck Norris blush). In the Facebook's own words, "Our goal is to make this Community Page the best collection of shared knowledge on this topic."

Now, with so much information out there, it's easier than ever for advertisers to find the audience they want.

Heck, even the Tucson Weekly is using Facebook to get the news out to our fans. In other words: It's not all bad.


THE WEEK ON THE RANGE

We continued to cover Arizona's new immigration law, noting that Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Terry Goddard are bickering over who gets to defend the state in court over lawsuits related to SB 1070. We also told you about Sound Strike, a new coalition of musicians who announced that they won't be playing in Arizona.

In other border news, we informed you that the Obama administration would be sending 1,200 National Guard troops to the border, and we highlighted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' ongoing efforts to bring attention to the problems of illegal immigration—including her mentions of Tucson Weekly coverage.

We kept you up to date with developments in the Gulf of Mexico as BP continued to struggle to cap the Deepwater Horizon well, and noted the latest efforts by the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity to force the federal government to follow environmental laws before issuing more permits for off-shore drilling.

We noted the passing of former Diff'rent Strokes star and one-time Tucsonan Gary Coleman; and brought you photos from UA student Kellie Mejdrich.

We shared the news that UA scientists were part of a team exploring how the polar icecaps on Mars formed, and let you know that NASA had given up hope that the Phoenix Mars Lander would send further signals.


COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

On the Chow beat, we let you know that Boca, a gourmet taco shop, has opened in the old Greasy Tony's location just off the UA campus.

"Isn't there some kind of law against a Walmart and a Target existing in the 'same' shopping center?"

TucsonWeekly.com user "jamisonrk," in response to "Walmart Springs Up at El Con" (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Old Pueblog, May 27).

"I thought so, too. It's kinda like the Ghostbuster law of not crossing the streams."

TucsonWeekly.com user "trey," in response to "jamisonrk."


BEST OF WWW

If you keep up with The Range, our blog, you know that last week, the newspaper you're currently reading was featured on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords used the April 29 issue's cover and story about the murder of Cochise County rancher Robert Krentz in a speech about the need for the federal government to do something about the drug and immigration problems along the Mexican border. See the complete video of Giffords' House speech at TucsonWeeklyTV.com.

More by Nick Smith

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