Monday, 16 March 2009

Zuckerberg and the future of Facebook

26th October 2005, Zuckerberg explains how you can monetize users "pretty easily"; today he would have said different things...

Mark Zuckerberg was 19 years old when he created Facebook, with Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It was February 4th 2004 and nobody could imagine that after 5 years Facebook has almost 200 million active users worldwide.
Zuckerberg & friends moved to Silicon Valley during the summer of 2004 (the world is NOT flat, Mr. Thomas Friedman!) and they looked for investors.

October 2008: Zuckerberg says: "What every great internet company has done is to figure out a way to make money that has to match to what they are doing on the site. I don't think social networks can be monetized in the same way that search did. But on both sites people find information valuable. I'm pretty sure that we will find an analogous business model. But we are experimenting already. One group is very focused on targeting; another part is focused on social recommendation from your friends. In three years from now we have to figure out what the optimum model is. But that is not our primary focus today."

3 years can mean October 2011! Does Zuckerberg think he has such a long time?
The future of Facebook doesn't depend only on Zuckerberg but it depends on its investors too:
- Microsoft put $240 million
- Li Ka-shing put $120 million
- TriplePoint Capital put $100 million
and others (full list here)

According to Techcrunch (article of October 2008):
"The company is likely spending well over a $1 million per month on electricity alone"
"With 750 employees and growing, Facebook is spending at least another $10 million per month on payroll."
"It costs a couple of hundred million dollars a year just to keep the lights on at Facebook. But the real problem is keeping up with growth, particularly storage needs. Add another $100 million or more per year for capital expenditures, and you’ve got a company that’s doing exactly the opposite of printing money."

Time is running out for Zuckerberg, it's going to be "Facebook must make money or sell Facebook"

It would be nice to have an etiquette for Facebook, how long do we have to wait for?

The Economist asked "Cameron Marlow, the “in-house sociologist” at Facebook, to crunch some numbers. Dr Marlow found that the average number of “friends” in a Facebook network is 120" and "women tend to have somewhat more than men"[...] "Thus an average man—one with 120 friends—generally responds to the postings of only seven of those friends by leaving comments on the posting individual’s photos, status messages or “wall”. An average woman is slightly more sociable, responding to ten."

1st phase Feb 2004-Aug 2005 Facebook only for US university
2nd phase Sep 2005-25 Sep 2006 Facebook only for US university and high schools
3rd phase 26 Sep 2006-today Facebook is open for everyone of ages 13 and older with a valid e-mail address

What would Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) think about Facebook? He could think it's the Panopticon of the XXI century with important diffences:
- in Panopticon there are prisoners and observers; prisoners don't choose to lose privacy.
- in Facebook people do choose to lose part of privacy
- in Facebook everybody can be an observer

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Techcrunch: commercial radio is dead

March 11th 2009. In a few minutes a new FM radio is starting in New York - 92.3 NOW FM - but Nicholas Deleon (Techcrunch) 2 days ago wrote:

Commercial radio is dead: Why CBS Radio's K-Rock format switch in New York won't make a bit of difference in fight against technological irrelevance

There’s something wrong with CBS Radio’s press release announcing the launch, complete with silly “countdown,” of 92.3 Now FM in New York City, a contemporary hit radio station that will replace K-Rock on Wednesday, March 11, at 5:00pm. (Contemporary hit radio, in plain English, means garbage pop songs, distinguished by their use of auto-tune and use of lowest-common-denominator song-writing.) CBS Radio Senior Vice-President of Something or Other, Don Bouloukos, is quoted in the release as saying, “Our assets in the country’s No. 1 market include among them the best known brands in the business. From the most listened to news and sports stations in the country, to the classic sounds of WCBS FM and the adult contemporary styling of Fresh 102.7, CBS RADIO offers something for everyone in the market – including young adults who are using the radio to discover today’s most popular music as featured on 92.3 NOW FM.” [Emphasis added, obviously.] And that, friends, is why the radio business, as we know it, is truly doomed. No, Mr. Bouloukos, young people are not turning on their radio to discover new music; they’re certainly not sticking around through the commercials to listen to new music on a radio station. No, sir, that’s what the Internet is for, and that’s why your business has no future. [...]

how do people discover new music in the year 2009?

[...] They’re not listening to the radio, sitting through commercials, waiting for the marble-mouthed DJ to say, “Hey, here’s [Cool New Band].” Yes, we know. We heard about [Cool New Band] two weeks ago via Twitter/Facebook/MySpace Music/whatever. Thanks for trying to remain relevant, though!

Now, I still think radio, as a medium, isn’t dead yet. Plenty of people listen to talk radio, whether it’s of the comedy variety à la Opie and Anthony, of the political variety à la Hannity or Rush, or of the sports variety. (My God does sports radio delve into minutia!) Radio is great for news, too: nothing wrong with listening to the headlines while you’re stuck in traffic on the BQE. But this idea that CBS Radio, and others, cling to, that commercial music radio has a future, that people still seek out commercial radio to listen to new music, is laughably outdated.

Click here for the full article and all the comments

Remember the Top 40 radio wars of the 60s? Well, they're back. CBS Radio announced Monday (March 9), it plans to ditch K-Rock on WXRK-FM in New York for Top 40, challenging Clear Channel Radio's Z100 (WHTZ-FM). Called "92.3 NOW FM," the Top 40 station will launch Wednesday, March 11 at 5 p.m. playing the hits that appeal to an 18-34 year-old listener.

Click here for the full article and all the comments

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Globalization of football (soccer) communication

David Beckham invited on closing ceremony of olympic games, Beijing; August 24, 2008

Let's see the official sites of football (soccer) team of Serie A: how many languages are official sites available in?

milan 6 languages: italian, english, spanish, portuguese, chinese, japanese
inter 4 languages: italian, english, spanish, chinese
juventus 3 languages: italian, english, chinese
chievo, napoli, palermo 2 languages: italian, english

other important teams in Europe:

barcelona 7 languages: catalan, spanish, english, japanese, chinese, korean, arabic
bayern munich 5 languages: german, english, japanese, chinese, spanish
manchester utd 4 languages: english, chinese, japanese, korean
chelsea 4 languages: english, american version (?), korean, chinese, russian
real madrid 3 languages: spanish, english, japanese
psv eindhoven 3 languages: dutch, english, spanish
manchester city 2 languages: english, chinese
ajax 2 languages: dutch, english
porto 2 languages: portuguese, english
olympique de marseille 2 languages: french, english
borussia dortmund 2 languages: german, english
zenit st petersburg 2 languages: russian, english
red star belgrade 2 languages: serbian, english
liverpool 1 language: english
benfica 1 language: portuguese

obviously somebody doesn't understand the globalization of audience in football (soccer) ...
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