A Dallas Morning News article that appeared in the middle of the holiday shopping period highlighted retailers' clever forays on Facebook. J.C. Penney has a "virtual doghouse" on Facebook where a user (presumably a woman) can put her significant other in the doghouse because of poor gift choices. The doghouse status is then published on each of the couple's Facebook pages. Bewareofthedoghouse.com exists independently of Facebook, and it's worth visiting to enjoy its cleverness (very un-J.C. Penney-like).
This invites exposing the unsuspecting subjects (as of December 17, the number surpassed 3,000) of our most intimate relationships to our hundreds of friends (and their friends and their friends and so on and so on). Think of the risk that law firm and other employers might have if disgruntled (recently laid off or those who fear job loss) employees decide to doghouse their senior partners or law firm managers. Because Facebook is perceived by many users to be "private," wall posts may be more unedited and unfiltered than typical public chat/gossip rooms, such as Above the Law or Greedy Associates. Employers who want to monitor wall posts need a Facebook "friend" or insider to do so.
Recent Facebook user stats include:
- More than 130 million active users
- More than half of Facebook users are beyond college
- The fastest growing demographic is 25+
- The average user has 100 friends
- Worldwide Facebook users spend 2.6 billion minutes on the site EACH day
- More than 13 million update their status each day