“Mark Zuckerberg listed a company on NASDAQ”-Zuckerberg’s Facebook status on Friday, May 18, 2012

“The thing I really care about is making the world more open and connected.” That was Mark Zuckerberg’s motto behind creating what is now the world’s largest social network. Judy Hasday, author of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, wrote that Mark “has always contended that he will stay with the company he founded as long as it is changing people’s lives.” Today, he gets to see his company make history, again.

Today, Facebook shares will be publicly traded for the first time. According to the New York Times, “Facebook is the third biggest initial public offering in U.S. history, but no other market debut has matched the frenzy created by Mark Zuckerberg’s social networking site.”

Facebook employees have been celebrating by hosting an all-night-hack-a-thon at the Facebook offices in Menlo Park, California, Thursday night, according to Forbes.

This morning, when the stock market opened, it was Zuckerberg who rung the bell. The Washington Post reported, “Zuckerberg opened the tech index trading while outside the company’s headquarters… in front of a cheering crowd of Facebook employees on a stage that looked like it was set up for a rock concert.”

The New York Times reported that “Facebook’s offer price will be $38 a share, giving the company a valuation of $104 billion.”

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information on Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook, check out Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg by Judy Hasday. (ISBN 9781599351766)

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Update: Tuesday, May 22, 2012:

Even after all of the hubbub surrounding Facebook’s first day as a publicly traded company, the company’s shares have dropped in dollar value since the opening bell Friday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Facebook shares recently traded 7 % lower at $31.65, 17% below their IPO price of $38. The stock fell as low as $30.98 Tuesday. The fresh bottom comes after the social network’s stock tanked 11% Monday as more investors and analysts began to question the size of the company’s public debut, which initially valued the company at $104 billion. The company is now worth about $86.7 billion based on the stock price Tuesday.”

The value of Facebook will most likely continue to fluctuate as traders try to grasp an idea of just how much the company is worth.

 

Published in: on May 18, 2012 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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SOPA

Since SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, was introduced to Congress in October, the nation’s entertainment industry, Internet entrepreneurs, and government have been up in arms and taking sides.

SOPA was created to stop copyright infringement of American products by shutting down supposedly infringing foreign websites that target U.S. consumers.

SOPA would allow, according to CNet.com’s Declan McCullagh, “The U.S. attorney general to seek a court order against the targeted offshore Web site that would, in turn be served on Internet providers in an effort to make the target virtually disappear. It’s kind of an Internet death penalty…. to be blacklisted, a Web site must be ‘directed’ at the U.S. and also that the owner ‘has promoted’ acts that can infringe copyright.”

McCullagh also reported that in a letter to the New York Times, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote, “Rogue Web sites that steal America’s innovative and creative products attract more than 53 billion visits a year and threaten more than 19 million American jobs.”

Controversy has developed among internet big-wigs.

These internet executives, in addition to several others, signed an open letter opposing SOPA. The open letter stated the concerns that the Act threatened to:

 * Require web services, like the ones we helped found, to monitor what users link to, or upload. This would have a chilling effect on innovation;

* Deny website owners the right to due process of law;

* Give the U.S. Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran; and

* Undermine security online by changing the basic structure of the Internet.

According to Forbes, Sergey Brin commented on his Google+ page:

In just two decades, the world wide web has transformed and democratized access to information all around the world. I am proud of the role Google has played alongside many others such as Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Twitter…. For our own websites and for the internet as a whole we have worked tirelessly to combat internet censorship around the world alongside governments and NGO promoting free speech. Thus, imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States…. While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement … I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.

Morgan Reynolds authors Chris Smith and Marci McGrath wrote in Twitter: Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams, “The Internet [is] much more than a hobby for computer nerds. It was becoming the way millions of people live their lives.”

If this Act passes, the fear among the tech world is that it would inevitably “break the internet.”

David Carr of the New York Times, reported, “Entertainment companies think that technology companies are aiding and abetting thieves on a broad scale, but the legislation is alarming in its reach, potentially creating a blacklist of sites and taking aim at others for unknowingly hosting a small fraction of copyrighted material.”

Twitter, Facebook, Google: all of these sites and many more would be under the scrutiny of the government. And there is no denying that they have been major players in how the world operates and, maybe most importantly, the access to information once impossible to access because of government censorship.

Smith and McGrath wrote, “But in Egypt–just as in Tunisia, Iran, Libya, Moldova, and other countries experiencing political unrest–Twitter, Facebook, and other Internet-based social networking sites have been there in the thick of things too. Although it’s hard to know how big a role the Internet has played in the unrest, one clue is how often the governments involved try to block Twitter and other messages, or just shut down Internet access completely.”

It seems that one of the biggest issues about SOPA, as Sergey Brin implied, for the technological world is, if it is passed, what makes the U.S. government different from those governments we look down on for oppressing their people by censoring information.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about the Internet and how Twitter, Google, and Facebook have changed the world and how we access information, check out:

Twitter: Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams by Chris Smith and Marci McGrath (ISBN 9781599351797)

Google Founders: Larry Page and Sergey Brin by Kerrily Sapet (ISBN 9781599351773)

Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg by Judy Hasday (ISBN 978159935-1766)

Published in: on January 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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Is Facebook going to die?

The mainstream media got punked last week by a group claiming to be the infamous Anonymous hackers. News agencies around the world put out an alert that Anonymous planned to destroy Facebook on November 5, 2011 (Guy Fawkes Day).

Reporting by London-based Telegraph was typical:  “A splinter group from the notorious hacker collective Anonymous is rumoured to be gathering support for a plan to ‘kill’  online social networking giant Facebook. . . . Its aim was to destroy the social network on the grounds that it abused the privacy of users.”  And thanks to a YouTube video and Twitter account said to be posted and managed by the illusive group, and of course news sources, the rumor spread like wildfire.

By this week, news agencies realized they had been duped and quickly killed the rumor. As CBSNews headlined, “We’ve been had! Anonymous not ‘killing’ Facebook.”

Parmy Olsen of Forbes.com reported that it wasn’t just a rumor from nowhere, though. Olsen wrote, “A few supporters of Anonymous had actually collaborated earlier this year on a operation aimed at taking Facebook offline. . .”

Eventually the collaborators got bored and abandoned the idea, Olsen wrote. But some newcomers stumbled upon their abandoned chat room, and took up the torch. It was these newcomers, thought to be kids out of school for the summer and posing as Anonymous members, who created the Twitter account and the video.

“So next time you hear about a looming cyber attack by Anonymous, stay calm. Bear in mind that pretty much anyone can front a well-made YouTube video and think twice about whether this is all just a bit of fun for a few bored people  on their summer break.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s goal for Facebook is to make the world “open,” according to Judy Hasday, author of Morgan Reynolds’s Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. Said Zuckerberg:

The thing I really care about is making the world more open and connected. What that stands for is something that I have believed in for a really long time. . . . Open means having access to more information, right? More transparency, being able to share things and have a voice in the world. . .

Perhaps Zuckerberg did not realize when he created Facebook that providing an “open” world might also open Pandora’s box to a myriad of privacy issues and media frenzy.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information on Zuckerberg and Facebook, check out Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg by Judy Hasday, a Morgan Reynolds book. (ISBN 9781599351766)

Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Google vs. Facebook

       

The rivalry in the intense world of on-line social media heated up when Google launched Google+, or, as CNET’s Rachel King defines it, “the Goog’s effort at producing a major social-networking platform, which ties in with the growing competition with Facebook…”

One week later, on July 6, Facebook announced that it was partnering with Skype to provide video chatting through Facebook. Google has had a video chat function in Gchat for three years. Rafe Needleman, editor of CNET, reported, “Video calling is now table stakes for social products.”

Since Google+ was launched, there have been third party attempts to create contact-export tools that can extract contact information from Facebook and import it to Google+. Facebook, however, has blocked these attempts. Facebook claims that these tools do not follow its Terms of Use which state, “You will not collect users’ content or information, or otherwise access Facebook, using automated means without permission.”

King reports, “Google’s competitors are truly starting to remove their gloves….Though he didn’t cite Google specifically, it’s not too difficult to figure out which corporation [Google]  he was talking about when he said Facebook will ‘always do better than a company trying to a million things.'”

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In other news, Google is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). According to the Wall Street Journal, the FTC is investigating “into whether the internet giant has abused its dominance in Web-search advertising . . .”

Former CEO and current chairman Eric Schmidt is scheduled to testify before Congress on Google’s behalf in September.

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The world of social media is always changing, but we can be assured that conflict between the major players will continue to be a constant.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about Google and Facebook and their founders, check out Morgan Reynolds’s new books:

Google Founders: Larry Page and Sergey Brin by Kerrily Sapet

ISBN 9781599531773

Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg by Judy L. Hasday

ISBN 9781599351766

Published in: on August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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