On Facebook, Rutgers University Department of Classics becomes active user Number 1,000,000,001 (give or take a few)

On the morning of Thursday 4 October 2012  (i.e., today), Facebook  founder and CEO Mark  Zuckerberg posted this status update on his page:

Not too long afterward, the planet saw the launching of the Rutgers University Department of the Classics Facebook page. The goal? Precisely to make and maintain those connections that Zuckerberg is talking about, in this case, among members of the larger RU Classics community (including our many alums) and between RU Classics and the rest of the world.

Is RU Classics really Facebook active user Number One Billion and One? Well, it’s sort of hard to tell. Mark Zuckerberg himself pointed out in an article today in  Bloomberg Businessweek that “doing data analytics at this scale is a big challenge, and one of the things you have to do is sample….I don’t even know if we knew who the billionth person was”.  So who’s to say that RU Classics isn’t, more or less?

Facebook was founded in February 2004, and the site rolled out its “Facebook Pages” feature in November 2007.  So why did it take so long for Rutgers Classics to get on the bandwagon?

No one knows. But now that the page is up and running (with over thirty Likes in its first day), there’s suddenly plenty of speculation.  “I think they were taking a wait-and-see approach, like, to see if Facebook  was just a flash in the pan, or whatever”, said an unnamed source close to the Department. “And then when Facebook hit one billion, like, it was then all suddenly OK. ” [This is way off base—Ed.]

Much closer to the truth is that first year graduate student David Wright (Holy Cross BA 2008, Arizona MA 2012) saw that a lot of Classics programs had a Facebook page, Rutgers didn’t, and then suggested that he set one up for the Department. Thanks David!

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