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Friday, May 18, 2012

It's People!

Some puzzling things are afoot…
Facebook is worth more than Walt Disney?
Facebook is a $100 billion dollar company?
What exactly does Facebook make?

I guess I can’t really knock it. I use Facebook more than I should. But, then again, I use it for a variety of reasons. I’m snarky about life. I post shirt designs and promote my business. I get my ass kicked in Words With Friends or spend an inordinate amount of time farming for no reason. I am the reason why Facebook is as big as it is. Though, I don’t feel the need to tell everyone that I am going to gym, going to work, or going to bed.

But in the last couple years, I’ve also become a big critic of Zuckerberg. I don’t blame him for his worth and his genius. This is a guy who built a social networking empire while pretty much being anti-social. Whether he misled the Winklevi about creating the site or screwed Eduardo Saverin out of a share of the company doesn’t matter, what matters is that Facebook, to a lot of people, has become like a limb. Without it, life would be difficult.

Should it be? Are we so self centered in this life that we cannot get through the day without shouting everything to the world in a “look at me moment”? “I’m having a bad day” equals like this, comment and console me, feed my self worth, and basically enable me to be a vapid ass clown. Frankly, I love when I post or share something I like and about 1% of the people in my friends list go and get all militant on me for having an opinion other than theirs. Basically, this is how I am. I snark. I sarcasm. I share shit that makes me laugh. I don’t consider your feelings when I do it… because it’s not YOUR wall. It’s not YOUR Facebook. I once posted a picture that said, “If what I post on Facebook really offends you, then it’s pretty obvious that you do not know me off of Facebook”.

But… I am going off point.

This is about how Facebook has become a tradable commodity. When I asked, “What does Facebook make?” I already had an answer in my head. The product that Facebook makes is us. Our data. Our habits. What we watch, what we like, and what we share is where Facebook produces its greatest marketable good; data. Data that companies pay a hell of a lot of money to get a hold of to market other things to us. GM just pulled their ads because they couldn’t see that their marketing was producing any sales. Where GM screwed up was paying to advertise on Facebook. What they should have done was just buy up data from the users who talk about, post pictures, and like cars. The users advertise for them and they just turn that data into marketing plans for their company…

The tables are going to turn on Zuckerberg. I hope he has a lot of protection over his role and his stake in the company. All the things he said he’d never do won’t be truly up to him, anymore. Paid service to the site. If the board truly wants it. They’ll make him do it. If they want Facebook to green. Hey may have to do it. If they feel he’s not taking the company in the right direction, they could get rid of him. I might be making that out to be bigger of a deal than it really is, but let’s just say, I have some experience in this.

I’ve seen founders of a company get tossed out because the board and, by proxy, the shareholders decided that things needed to change. Things that made them money. Things that may have been totally against what the founder and owner had in mind, but because that company was publically trader they lost their say and their job in the name of money.

Then again, maybe Zucks has it all figured out. Those five things he lays out sounds like a plan to really open up your data to others because, “Hey, that’s what you signed up for and paid no money to use.” But as far as opening up themselves. I have a feeling that sharing that information won’t be as easy. I can imagine that statement to sound like, “There’s patents and proprietary information. We don’t want some other anti-social genius to come up with something better.”

Trust me, something better will come along. In fact, three or four “better” things will come along. Some of them will probably get bought by Facebook. Soon, it will become more profitable for Facebook to buy up the things they want to offer instead of actually producing it themselves.

Unfortunately, for us, the product, until we learn to stop being so damn open with everyone… which let’s face it… it’s annoying, we’ll stop producing for Facebook and then Facebook will stop producing for their shareholders.

Social Blue! It’s People!

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