“That social networks are hard to penetrate” is an often given reason for recent corporate investment decreases in this technology. The cause is the traditional mass market perspective: firms use social networks to connect with, and eavesdrop on, customers. The result: online ads weakly aligned to customer conversations. One alternative: adopt a Language–Action Perspective; identify the market created by a conversation in a social network. The result: online ads strongly aligned to that conversation. One measure of this alignment is
the mental distance between the intent of a social network conversation and the intent of the online ads that surround it.
This paper will: explore the nature of “intention” in social networks, introduce its elements, show how these elements can create data and software architecture, and show how to create better online ads.