Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

BoomTown's Top 10 List of Fact-Challenged Revelations That Should Be in the Facebook Tell-All Book

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How much is BoomTown and everyone else in Silicon Valley trying to nab a copy of Ben Mezrich’s likely-to-be-entirely-made-up-but-who-cares tale of dirty doings at Facebook?

Muchety-much! So much so that I called all my book industry contacts–hey, I am a published author, ya know!–even though I have not actually completed reading a book since the Internet started and gave me permanent attention deficit disorder.

But, so far I have come up peanuts in grabbing an early copy of Mezrich’s tome, “The Accidental Billionaires,” which is set to come out July 14.

Facebook is not pleased, of course, and will likely be challenging Mezrich’s work as specious dreck. But the drama around the book should be interesting, to say the least.

More so, since this week also came news that actors Michael Cera and Shia LaBeouf are being considered to play founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and that David Fincher, the director of the lugubrious Brad Pitt snoozer, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” is “attached” to the movie version.

Even better: “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin will pen it and actor Kevin Spacey will produce the Columbia Pictures film, which will be called “The Social Network.”

Well, Hollywood sure came up with an original title!

It certainly does not signal the juiciness of the proposal for the book–which did manage to leak out last year–with a lot of tale tales in it that seem to have pretty much tracked on its oddly purple subtitle of “The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal.”

The cover–which you can see on the book’s Facebook page (the delicious gall of Mezrich!)–features a spilled martini glass and a red bra flung nearby.

Martinis? Red bras? Sex? Facebook? Really?

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Obviously, Mezrich has not actually met Zuckerberg, who is a very nice geekish young man, but who has approximately the sex appeal of a rack of Facebook servers.

Powerful yes! Spockish? Yes! Sexy? Um, no, no, no.

I will not even begin to parse the red bra thing, although I am attributing the martinis to stylish former COO (and now MySpace CEO) Owen Van Natta.

But, apparently, the sex part seems to have to do with Zuckerberg starting the company with others while an undergrad at Harvard University, as a scheme to meet some ladies.

I would say there are easier ways to attract the womenfolk–not that I could give tips or anything–but whatever!

Thus, since I cannot get my mitts on the book (yet!), here’s my list of 10 completely made-up, utterly fabricated, just-call-me-Jayson-Blair things that should be in the book.

10.) Facebook was actually going to be called OnlyPrettyLadyFacebook, but cooler heads prevailed.

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9.) The Wall? A clever plot by Zuckerberg to build his online service on a fascist construct, touting his hegemony over all he surveyed.

Wait, that actually happened, and now some Russians are even investors.

Long live the Zuckrepublic of Palo Alto!

8.) Reason for stealing, oops, borrowing, oops again, completely separately developing an exact replica of ConnectU social network at Harvard:

The Olympically muscle-headed Winklevoss twins used to beat up the brainy Zuckerberg on his way back to the dorm, prompting a “Revenge of the Nerds” plot line.

7.) Facebook’s Beacon advertising? All Randi Zuckerberg’s idea, so she could find out what she was getting for her birthday from her billionaire-on-paper brother.

6.) Zuckerberg’s famous flip-flops were made in China under dubious working conditions. Wait, that’s true too.

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5.) The 20-something Zuckerberg is actually 93 years old, a real-life version of Benjamin Button, which would explain the social awkwardness and staring-into-space-sometimes thing.

4.) The no-breast-feeding-pictures controversy pretty much proves no one is interested in bras or, more precisely, what goes in them at Facebook.

3.) COO Sheryl Sandberg is a cyborg sent to Facebook from Google for purposes of infiltration. She and her crafty sidekick, Elliott Schrage, will become self-aware in 2012 and hunt down Zuckerberg in a thrilling chase that will also become a movie.

2.) The sex, drugs and rock-and-roll stuff actually all took place at MySpace, which really pisses off certifiably dashing co-Founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson because, once again, Zuckerberg stole their mojo!

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1.) This work of fiction, oops, “fact”-ion, oops again, nonfiction, is probably not going to sell many copies because it will mysteriously be uploaded in its entirety by a widget that will distribute it free to Facebook’s 200 million plus users while simultaneously SuperDuperPoking Mezrich, by throwing real sheep at him.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Ben.

(By the way, here is an extra for you: The $15 billion valuation for Facebook, along with all the other Web 2.0 ones? Totally true. Just ask any VC.)

And, in case anyone was wondering what the real Facebook looks like, here is a recent video tour I did of its new HQ in Palo Alto, Calif.:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus