Saturday, January 22, 2011

Facebook: what's it worth?

Fourteen hours ago leading techie website Mashable just tweeted:
Facebook Raises $1.5 Billion, Now Worth $50 Billion -


I have a problem with Mashable: the volume of its tweets just swamps everyone else I'm following on Twitter, but occasionally you get an interesting gem like this that is just dying for a rant. Don't you feel like ranting?

The inclination to rant seems to be one of the keys to social media. And also what makes it dangerous. It gives people immediate, and unlimited outlets to thoughts which might otherwise have been limited to friends standing less than 10 metres away within the hour the thought popped up.

However it's also being a catalyst to rant that makes a tweet or post valuable. If you post something that induces a rant (Likes, replies, retweets, comments etc.), you're considered an 'influencer' and your posts will get more visibility.

So today's experiment is to try and get noticed by ranting.

Firstly, I commented on Mashable's article about Facebook: It had reminded me of my somewhat Marxist professor at university who delivered a lecture sometime before June in 1987 forecasting and explaining why the global economy was going to crash because value was no longer being created by the primary means of production (or something like that) but rather by buying and selling the proceeds of that production many times over by bankers.

The Hertford Women's 3rd VIII struggle to understand rowing as they attempt to 'row on' for Eights Week 1987

You should have seen the smugness in his subsequent lecture in November 1987 which frankly should have been entitled "I told you so".

The comment on the article posted was:

I recall a Marxist professor of mine in Uni in the '80s warning about the imbalance of economic value between the primary means of production and everything after it. In those days it was mainly banks. 'Black Monday' followed soon afterwards.

I know the world has moved on but I wonder what he'd be saying these days..

An aside: my favourite of the 28 comments on the article posted so far is:
"Translation [of a comment by Facebook's representatives saying how they would use the money]: With this investment completed, we now will move into our secret lair hidden inside a volcano and practice our maniacal laughter. "

No-one 'Likes' me so far.

Secondly, I posted a status update on Facebook:
Apparently Facebook is worth $50 billion. Amazing what you can do with a discounted cash flow statement. I say, sell the thing and invest the money in Africa.

Two very different friends had 'Liked' me within 5 minutes.

Scores will be updated as we go along... I've left twitter for the moment.. I haven't quite worked out how you know if your 'tweet' was picked up by anyone else.

The question is: how do you make this propensity to comment/rant help your business - or indeed yourself?
Once again - I qualify this blog with the fact that if you google this question you will get upwards of a few million bloggers, like this one, asking the same question. You might even get some answers.

But I don't have the time to sift through millions of (insert appropriate adjective) blogs to find an answer. Experts always say you learn better if you work it out for yourself.

That's my excuse for writing this blog instead of researching the gogol of information out there in cyberspace. And how do I know if any of it's true anyway?

(Excepting of course for the internet marketing course I'm attending on Wednesday).

The Hertford Women's 3rd VIII a few weeks later, having worked out rowing (notice position of my arms relative to my legs). That and the fact the opposition hadn't turned up contributed to the cheery position.

There's an allegory in here somewhere.

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