42 posts and columns on Beacon
Remember when people freaked out about Facebook letting advertisers tell people what you were doing on the Web? Old news! Now it’s a yawn.
CBS's "60 Minutes" Revisits Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (And BoomTown Takes Back "Toddler CEO" Title)This Sunday, the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” returns to Facebook after several years to check in on co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In the first interview by correspondent Lesley Stahl in early 2008, Zuckerberg’s social networking empire was much smaller, beset by a series of management snafus and mired in yet another privacy controversy. Plus, he was more than a lot more awkward. Fast-forward to today: Zuckerberg rules one of the most powerful tech companies in the world and BoomTown dubs him a prodigy! The worm has officially turned.
Next Step in the Facebook Privacy Blowback: The FTC Complaint. The Real Question: Will Advertisers Care?The inevitable filing from privacy groups asks the Feds to force Facebook to roll back its “privacy” settings. No idea if that will work. But if the clamor gets loud enough, it might reach the ears of people who really matter: Marketers who pay to reach the site’s users.
Yesterday, BoomTown paid a visit to the Washington, D.C., office of Facebook to meet its reps in the nation’s capital. Perhaps not surprisingly, the social networking site has a very small staff–for now, just a trio of on-the-young-side dudes–battening down the hatches from a funky office in a funky section of D.C., Dupont Circle, far from the tonier and lobbyist-rich K Street corridor.
A new survey that should surprise only the people behind the Beacon debacle shows that a majority of Americans of all ages don’t like being tracked online by advertisers. In related stating-the-obvious news, Americans also find Jon and Kate Gosselin super-annoying.
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! But, so far I have come up peanuts in grabbing an early copy of the work of “fact”-ion–titled “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal”–which is set to come out July 14, along with a movie later. Facebook is not pleased, of course, and will likely be challenging Mezrich’s work as specious dreck, but here’s my own list of 10 completely made-up, utterly fabricated, just-call-me-Jayson-Blair facts that should be in the book.
BoomTown tried to get Chris Kelly to give up more during an onstage interview I did with the Facebook chief privacy officer last night at the third “Tech Policy Summit” and was only moderately successful in the endeavor. Oh he is a smoothie all right, as a lawyer and now as a wannabe politician. Kelly–who is still working at the social-networking site, where his job is to make sure consumer data, privacy, the children and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s reputation are all safe and sound–is also running for the job of California’s attorney general.