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Click This Button If You 'Like' Sports on Facebook: Cybersports. (Link-Up & Home: Your Personal Guide to the Web

Magazine article Information Today

Click This Button If You 'Like' Sports on Facebook: Cybersports. (Link-Up & Home: Your Personal Guide to the Web

Article excerpt

We know it's only semantics, but there is something vaguely disquieting about the ways Facebook is talking about your connections with its non-human-being members.

Not long ago, if you were interested in following the Facebook musings of "Can this pile of trash get more fans than Texas A&M University?" or your favorite television show (for the record, it's The Big Bang Theory, not SportsCenter) or the enticing postings of the state tourism agency of Austria, you became a "fan" of their Facebook pages.

Apparently, that was just too vague, or someone in the Great Facebook Monolith in the Sky thought "fans" could be interpreted as "fanatics." Of course, nobody wants fanatics hanging around the Facebook page, right?

Tell Me What You Like

Instead, we're starting to see a button that indicates we "like" the organization in question. Your "liking" is then responded to with a response, as in "You now like the Houston Astros." Sorry, sometimes we put up with the Astros, sometimes we just seem addicted to them, and sometimes we just watch them out of sheer force of genetics (we inherited it from our father). Sure, sometimes we're not repulsed by them, but at that point, we're not exactly "liking" them either.

And when you read what the Astros have written on the Astros' wall (or the Rangers on the Rangers' wall or the Yankees on the Yankees' wall, which has 10 times more "likers" than anybody else), you realize that it's basically the same stuff they're saying at the official website. The only difference is that you don't have the annoyance of having to see www .MLB.com content.

These Facebook pages often focus on upcoming promotions, such as "The first 10,000 fans at Saturday's game get a cap made from recycled six-pack holders, courtesy of the local trash-hauling conglomerate." There's also news and occasional snapshots from a blog written by what used to be called a "beat writer," but now, we suppose, would have "writer for Facebook 'likers'" on his or her job description.

Just to make this seem as though it's really Facebook and not just some reformatted version of the website, you can comment on the teams' wall posts or you can click on the "Just Others" button. You might even want to leave an insightful comment such as this recent one from a Rangers "liker": "The Rangers will do good!! My fave player is Michael Young, and hes heating up and i know he will do great! …

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