Monday, January 17, 2011

David Kirkpatrick: The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

In July 2010, James Harkin wrote a review of the David Kirkpatrick book for The Guardian. Last month Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, stood in front of an industry conference in Las Vegas and announced that email was on the way out. Figures showed that only 11% of teenagers use email on a daily basis, she said; most preferred to send messages via social networks such as Facebook. Even though she herself couldn't imagine life without it, she predicted that email "is probably going away". Sandberg's figures weren't quite right; they referred to data on how many American teenagers were using email to communicate with their friends on a daily basis, not how they were using it in general. Given Facebook's enormous success in colonising our online activity, however, there's every reason to take her hubristic ambition seriously. A good way to understand that ambition is to read David Kirkpatrick's new book.
“Zuckerberg sees the world as moving very rapidly toward transparency and very rapid sharing of data between individuals in all sorts of ways, on and off Facebook. And from the day he first created his system, he had this ethos of sharing that he strongly believed in.”

- David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

“But to everyone else the episode was a clear sign: Zuckerberg had a knack for making software people couldn’t stop using. That came as little surprise to his roommates. They knew he had even been talking to Microsoft and other companies about selling a program he’d written with a friend as his senior project at Exeter, called Synapse. The software watched what kind of music someone liked so it could suggest other songs. His friends called the program “The Brain” and were especially excited when they heard Zuckerberg might get as much as a million dollars for it.”

- David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

In July 2010, Don Tapscott wrote “Changing the world, one friend at a time” for The Globe and Mail. It was well known among industry insiders a couple of years ago that David Kirkpatrick's book about Facebook was overdue. Some felt he'd lose the window – that Facebook's 15 minutes of fame, like those of Myspace, were coming to an end. Kirkpatrick ignored them, spending another 18 months researching. Good call; the book appears just as Facebook has become the most popular destination on the Internet. Our obsession is justified, as Kirkpatrick points out in the most meticulous and exhaustive exposition to date. Facebook has gone “from a dorm-room novelty to a company with an unbelievable 500 million users.” Canadians love it most: A whopping 40 per cent of us are users. It defies the conventional wisdom that social networks are here today and gone tomorrow. It has become “a technological powerhouse with unprecedented influence across modern life, both public and private.” Facebook has the capability to do everything from linking us with friends to saving lives in the Haitian disaster. It may “be the fastest-growing company of any type in history.”
“Facebook was still burning tons of cash. It couldn’t keep endlessly pulling in investment money to cover losses, no matter how much contempt Zuckerberg had for ads. Luckily, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo all wanted to talk about a deal to place display ads on Facebook. Zuckerberg authorized his deputies to begin negotiations. To him it seemed like easy money. He wasn’t going to give them much onscreen real estate anyway.”

- David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

“A couple of Google executives came over to see if there might be a way to work with or even buy Thefacebook. Even at this early date, Google was well aware that something noteworthy was gong on in Palo Alto. Zuckerberg and Parker were leery, though, because the risk of becoming subsumed by Silicon Valley’s Internet giant was real. If they wanted ot do their own thing, they had to stay independent, they believed. Anyway, what they were trying to do was very different from what Google did. Their site was about people; Google was about data.”

- David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

In June 2010, NPR’s Morning Edition did a feature on the David Kirkpatrick book, “Author Explores The Evolution Of Facebook.” The site, which essentially began as an online student directory, went live on Feb. 4, 2004. Thefacebook, as it was then called, became popular almost instantly. Within four days, more than 650 students had registered. After one month, the number had reached 10,000. And now, more than six years later, close to 500 million people worldwide actively use the site. Author David Kirkpatrick spent a considerable amount of time with Zuckerberg while writing his new book The Facebook Effect. Zuckerberg, Kirkpatrick tells NPR's Deborah Amos, is adamant in his belief that the world is becoming more open.
“As costs mounted, Zuckerberg mused to the Crimson, which had taken to idolizing him, that “it might be nice in the future to get some ads going.” By the end of March, with the active-user number surpassing 30,000, Thefacebook was paying $450 per month for five servers from Zuckerberg and Saverin each agreed to invest another $10,000 into the company. Meanwhile, Saverin had begun selling a little advertising and had secured a few small contracts with companies that sold moving services, T-shirts, and other products to college students. These ads began to appear in April.”

- David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

Recent Mark Zuckerberg Quotes:

"Before we do anything there, I'm personally spending a lot of time studying it and figuring out what I think the right thing to do is,"
he said, adding that he spends an hour a day studying Chinese.
Dec 22, 2010 Herald Sun (100 occurrences)

...founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who calls the social network's interactions-centered concept as the "social graph", said during an interview with the "60 Minutes" CBS show: "I think what we've found is that when you can use products with...
Dec 29, 2010 TopNews United States (50 occurrences)

On his Facebook page, Mr. Zuckerberg said it was "a real honor and recognition of how our little team is building something that hundreds of millions of people want to use to make the world more open and connected."
Dec 26, 2010 Washington Times (24 occurrences)

"Privacy and making sure people have control over their information is, I think, one of the most fundamental things on the Internet," Zuckerberg said in a 60 Minutesinterview on Dec. 5.
Jan 12, 2011 WBIR-TV (8 occurrences)

At a talk this fall to aspiring entrepreneurs in Palo Alto, Calif., Zuckerberg said he was hoping to figure out the "right partnerships that we would need to do in China to succeed on our terms."
Dec 22, 2010 Herald Sun (10 occurrences)

"People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people," he told TechCrunch this month."That social norm is just something that has evolved over time."
Jan 17, 2011 New York Daily News (377 occurrences)

"The Farm Bureau agreed to sell us and we in return have agreed not to sell farm subsidies," Zuckerberg said in an account on
Jan 11, 2011 Reuters Blogs (blog) (15 occurrences)

"Most applications are going to become social, and most industries are going to be rethought in a way where social design and doing things with your friends is at the core of how these things work," he said.
Jan 2, 2011 Warc (27 occurrences)

"I don't care about the money," said Zuckerberg. "I just want my old life back."
Jan 9, 2011 (blog) (10 occurrences)

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