From the Editors
Ladies and gentlemen of the Internet, all your sharing of personal information and photos of your children and harsh opinions about the Kardashians is about to pay off bigtime. For a handful of insiders who owned private shares of Facebook before the company's ginormous IPO this Friday. "As a Facebook user, give yourself a pat on the back for helping the company make it this far. You are one of 900 million, and you spend an average of 20 minutes per day surfing the network. You've become worth an average of $100 to the company," says Mashable, which among much other coverage has created a nifty Facebook-style Timeline graphic about the IPO (on the premise that "if the Facebook IPO were a real person, we certainly wouldn't blame it for posting braggy status updates.") Crazily, the folks at Inc. seemed to have a really similar idea. Mashable analyzes "13 Ways the IPO Could Affect You." Most of them seem to be about the company's future imperative to keep growing at an unbelievable rate to please Wall Street, a drive that could lead to various money-making schemes: "Recently, Facebook indicated that only 12% of your friends see your average update.... users might even need to pay to get more visibility on their updates."
The fear that Facebook might begin billing us to expose ourselves has created at least one ancillary boondoggle. Reports Naked Security: "A hoax claiming that Facebook is planning to start charging users continues to spread across the social network, and has now been adapted by mischief-makers into a claim that the service will be free if users forward a message before midnight." Everybody has a scheme where fistfulls of dollars are involved. Look at poor Eduardo Saverin, a where-are-they now Facebook co-founder who seems to be doing just fine. Reports Inc.: "Depending on what happens when the IPO launches, Saverin could get more than $3 billion. As an American, he might have owed about a billion in capital gains tax, but he won't owe any now because he decided to renounce his American citizenship." Saverin insisted his national carpetbagging move isn't about the taxes, really! He said "I was born in Brazil, I was an American citizen for about 10 years. I thought of myself as a global citizen." VentureBeat says: "I don't really buy his logic. Captain Planet is a global citizen. He's also a hero who's going to take pollution down to zero. Saverin is a billionaire with a Harvard economics degree who lives in capitalist-friendly Singapore."
Of course there is the main man, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who stands to make at least a billion zillion dollars. He's been the subject a growing catalog of reverential literature. Betabeat has assembled links to "documents concerning St. Zuckerberg of Palo Alto," pronouncing: "Future generations may treasure bits of mystic St. Zuck's Hoodie cloth in jewel cases. They might even pray over them for hearty harvests of 'likes' and 'shares' of their next paid highlight status. " Some people - well Om Malik at OM.co anyway - are congratulating themselves simply for writing about Zuck before he was famous : "At the end of 2004, I pitched my editors at Business 2.0 a story on Facebook, which at that time was known as Thefacebook.com. I was super excited about Facebook." Gosh!
Ah, at least the halo effect has been generous, spreading to some other tech companies. "Some investors are looking for ancillary ways to profit from it," reports AllThingsD. "Shares of LinkedIn, Zynga, Pandora, and Yelp have all been trading up in advance of Facebook's IPO."
Of course all most outsiders can do is gawk, or make musical parody videos. Zuckerberg: the Musical, made by those "History of whistling video" people, is pretty funny, says WebProNews: "Highlights include the segment that deals with the invention of the 'Like' button. For my money, it's hard to compete with the following: "I can like anything better than you." "No you can't." "Yes I can." "No you can't." "Yes I can." "No you can't." "YES I MOTHERF***ING CAN!""
You know what would be cool? One. Billion. Dollars. No, what really would be cool is A WHOLE MOVIE about Zuckerberg. Wait - that's already been done? Oh yeah, the one with the Dragon Tattoo Girl in it. Now the screenwriter who wrote that Facebook movie, Aaron Sorkin, is switching up tech saints to do a film about Steve Jobs. Perez Hilton tellz: "Sony picked up the rights to Walter Issacson's authorized biography of the technology wizard and officially announced today that the Social Network screenwriter will be adapting it for the big screen. Much like Armegeddon and Deep Impact...Hollywood has TWO movies about the Apple co-founder in the works. This particular project does NOT star Ashton Kutcher, as that film is already in production." Apple 2.0 says "Sorkin should have a blast" and lists three scenes from the book it can't wait to see in the movie.
That's right. It's not all-Facebook-all-the-time here. We've got other stuff. Here's something about Nick Hanauer, who gave a speech at one of those thought-provoking TED conferences, but the TED bosses decided it was a little too provoking so they declined to not publish it online like all the others. "The slogan of the nonprofit group is Ideas Worth Spreading," says National Journal. "There's one idea, though, that TED's organizers decided was too controversial to spread: the notion that widening income inequality is a bad thing for America, and that as a result, the rich should pay more in taxes." Maybe they should just get Eduardo Saverin on stage to offer an opposing view.