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Quote o’ the day

Facebook is a charnel house of features that appeal to advertisers and businesses without actually being used, supported by tools that don’t work, for people who don’t care.
Jeffery Zeldman

Facebook Follies – The back to skool edition

Ahhh Facebook! The Pet Rock of the 21st century. Something everybody has to have, get tired of, and toss in the trash after the hangover stops.

Facebook has been called “The Social Network”. Hell they even made a movie. But at the end of the day, the Facebook buzz can be attributed to advertisers, Social Media Guru’s, tech writers having a slow news day, or formerly famous personalities trying to reinvent themselves.

Facebook claims 500 million users. B U L L S H I T !!! 500 million accounts Seriously? I don’t think so. They may have a few million active users, say anybody who has used their account in the last 6 months, which is being charitable as the ‘social network game’ depends on fresh blood more than starving vampires. And out of those few million how many are Social Media PR dogs, company flack accounts, and links to the latest meme?

500 million users. B U L L S H I T !!!This is Internet Accounting 101
(Internet Accounting 101: You add all your users and report that number while ignoring folks who quit. You don’t want your site to look like a wall street stock chart. Bad for investors and IPO Cash outs.)

Facebook’s Valuation
There is a lot of speculation regarding the value of Facebook. 12, 24, 33, 50 billion or more. This is hyperbole writ large. Valuation is like wishing in one hand and shitting in the other. You know which will fill up first. The best way to gauge a company’s worth is to see what they have for income, and what you might get for the parts when you break it up.

7 months ago Facebook’s income was pegged between 700 million to 1.1. billion, primarily from advertising revenue and selling data. But even these figures are wild assed guesses. Since the only sharing Facebook does is your personal and public information, making this at best a Wild Assed Guess as well. Even using the stock market game of income multiples, which values stock share price at a multiple of earnings, at 10 times, a relatively conservative figure, the valuation would be around 10 billion on a good day.

Facebook has a bunch of computers and some office space. Used computers bring even less money that used restaurant equipment. They own little if any real estate so there is no money there. Good Will? nah, the S&L failures took that nugget off balance sheets. Not much here once you cut the crap away.

Zucks 100 million for Education
100 million in stock. As noted above this gift has a dubious value. Until you find some sucker to pay cash money for this, you can’t buy books, fix buildings or pay teachers. Makes a great sound byte, but will not make kids smarter anytime soon. Not that this is not a nice gesture, but the pool of suckers has been drained by ponzi schemers, mortgage bankers, and toxic asset bundlers.

Social Networks and Privacy is an Oxymoron
Privacy and Facebook is such an oxymoron that you are probably throwing up in your mouth a little bit.
There is no Privacy in Social Networks.
Social Networks are not about privacy. They are Social as in Pregnancy. There is no ‘a little bit pregnant’. This is why I laugh my ass off when I read postings like ‘Facebook’s Privacy Move Violates Contract With Users’

What bullshit! As I mentioned above, you have no privacy, nor do you have any control over the shifting sands of this weeks privacy rights to the material that you post there. The author goes on about the dangers of this network and makes a leap that there is some contract about your use of their service giving you any privacy. Privacy settings are a Virtual Figleaf so you are not Socially Nude. And only show up in your browser, while in the back room, all your data is being collated, strained, prioritized, and shoveled into the sweaty hands of advertisers. Facebook makes no money by keeping things private.
Facebook, like the rest of the Social Networks are using Advertisers who should have more sense, building the Internet version of magazines. Having the ability to corral ‘users’ into smaller and smaller boxes to shoot ads at, is the electronic Midway Carnival, and you are all rubes.

Regardless of what sort of pixie dust you are snorting, Eric Schmidt of Google is right in telling you, If you want to keep things private, keep them off the internet.

Facebook Follies

Facebook continues to amaze in its effort to be pure and make a buck by selling its members down the river. On the purity front we had the aureole-gate tits up lunacy, taking down pictures of breast feeding women. Stupid, but when you consider that the CEO is only 24 and a geek, he probably does not have enough sexual experience to understand sex, its consequences, or the bond that women have for their children.

Whopper-gate demonstrated that Facebook  ‘friendship’ is no more valuable than ,”you were worth less than one-tenth of a Whopper.”, in the words of the Matt Walsh, the creator of the Whopper Sacrifice Campaign. Friend em, fuck em, and kick them to the curb. This campaign ran for 10 days before Facebook figured out that it was the credit default swap of the digerati and wannabes. Not the message you want to send if you are trying to be the Boys and Girls Club of the internet.

The blessing of whopper gate was the resound silence of virtual PR agencies, who in a moment of clarity figured out that Facebook is not the place to run campaigns, because 99% of the people on Facebook  don’t give a shit about PR or advertising. They did realize that a vast number of people on facebook who are likely to respond, to a carefully crafted virtual media campaign  will sell your ass down the river for 24 bucks and a few beads,(the original cost of Manhattan) or a tenth of a whopper.  Probably not quite the demographic they were trying to convert.

The bad news is that this is providing ammunition for the Social Media Loons who are gonna use this to turn their time on Facebook into billables as ‘Brand Reputation Management’. BRM is just the annoying kid who runs screaming to mommy and daddy every time somebody says something negative. Positive remarks are billed separately. And PR still wonders why folks regard them with the same contempt usually reserved for used car salesmen and lawyers. Yes, it is getting crowded in the bottom of the barrel.

The latest attempt to monetize  is  Facebook Credits. This is where you can give virtual credits to your ‘friends’, who in turn may do the same for you. You get credits by buying them in Facebook’s virtual gifts store — $1 for 100 credits.

Holy Monetization PixelBoy!! Money will buy you love! I wonder if you can redeem your credits for  whiskey and hookers from the virtual gifts store?

Having folks toss virtual pennies at you is electronic lap dancing. It may feel good now, but you will have to do the laundry later.