The other day, I found myself reading a nerdish news article about Facebook — something I never do, since I would rather visit my dentist for extensive root canal work than wade through some techno puff piece about some gigantic Silicon Valley social media company that controls the known universe.
But Buzzfeed’s screaming headline definitely caught my attention:
Facebook Takes Big Step Forward On Commerce, Builds Shops Into Pages
In fact, tears almost streamed down my cheeks. I sighed. At long last, news that Needlepoint Land can actually use!
Finally I could with a clear conscience permanently avoid making that dreaded decision about choosing some online e-commerce provider that I don’t know from Adam.
Maybe Needlepoint Land could, instead, go with good old FB as an easy, free, one-click, one-stop solution.
Maybe Mark Zuckerberg — you know, that nice billionaire young man in flip-flops who invented Facebook, after borrowing the idea from several classmates that he met in Harvard — could help me launch a shopping cart come Fall.
So I made it a point to ask Needlepoint Land’s ace tech crew what they thought of my latest idea.
They look at me in disbelief.
You want to be on Face-crook? they sneered.
Now, now, calm down, I said. Lots of great needlepoint stitchers are out there in Jane’s needlepoint group. Maybe some of them might buy something from the store if they don’t have to leave Facebook to do it.
Hmmm, what about privacy issues? they barked.
Like that Facebook asks for your cell number to verify your account, which they can then sell to every spammer out there, after they hijack your smartphone’s address book when you download their mobile app.
Oh, that, I said. Privacy, shmivacy. Everybody knows privacy died 5 years ago. Mark said so.
But there’s another thing, they persisted.
What about Facebook’s desktop page layout, which you once said made the Internet circa-1998 look new.
Oh that? That’s nothing, I can always get visually daring on my WordPress blog if I get the creative itch.
What about the fact that their e-commerce project is by invitation only? Or that they consider themselves free to use your content, including pics, anyway they choose. Or that they would stand between you and your customers, whom they would ultimately own, maybe cutting you out if you don’t get enough of those Likes?
Oh, shush. I know Mark likes me personally. After all, he even asked when I was born, when I tried to set up and account a few years ago. Why he even inquired what High School I attended, what movies I watched, and who all my friends were. I tell you, it almost felt like he was courting me a mere five minutes into our virtual relationship.
No one said anything during an uncomfortably pronounced silence, then I had a bright idea.
Tell you what, I said, why don’t you just go build a simple Business Page on Facebook. If we get enough Likes, we can start selling there when Facebook lets us in on the Buy Button thingie, and we can forget all about that complicated Shopify stuff you’ve been blabbing on for a year.
How many Likes?
1000. If Needlepoint Land can get to one thousand likes in a week, we’re golden.
1000 Likes in a week? How about ten?
Okay, fine. Five hundred. Whatever.
And so they slunk off to the state-of-the-art Needlepoint land tech room at the back of the store, the one with all the stacked up empty cardboard boxes laying around, and within an hour, Needlepoint Land had itself a Facebook presence.
Now there’s only one thing left to do.
You gotta do me a huge favor and like Needlepoint Land over there.
Mark Zuckerberg 1984-style poster (the year he was born!) derived from ZDnet.