Mike Isaac

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One Month On, Mark Cuban Is Doing Just Fine With Less Facebook in His Life

While most families light Yule logs and sit around the hearth on Christmas Eve (at least, in the Norman Rockwell vision of it), billionaire Mark Cuban took to Reddit with an “AMA” — or “Ask Me Anything” — thread.

He answered quite a few things (and as of noon PT on Monday, seems to still be going strong), but one topic in particular caught my eye: Cuban’s thoughts on Facebook. It’s pertinent, considering that just a month ago he was downplaying the importance of Facebook as a platform for marketing the Dallas Mavericks, the basketball team Cuban owns, as well as other businesses he is involved in.

“Actually [drawing back from Facebook] has really helped,” Cuban wrote. “While we continue to use FB and even invested in a company, www.bad.gy, that works to optimize Facebook, we have taken the time to explore the new Myspace, work on Tumblr, Pinterest and other options.”

To be clear, Cuban hasn’t moved the 70-plus companies he works with off of Facebook. But it’s certainly not the highest on his priority list.

“I believe the aggregate value of the other options will offer more opportunity for brands than FB alone,” Cuban wrote. He cites one business of his in particular — AXS.TV, an online live video site — benefiting from this new strategy.

My take: Looking at the growth rates alone, Pinterest and Tumblr seem to make at least some sense to focus on in terms of marketing efforts (though I can’t speak to their referral traffic numbers). I doubt you can seriously compare a foundering site like Myspace against Facebook, however, when simply looking at them in terms of scale.

The real question for Cuban: Why do an AMA on Christmas Eve?

“Because I can,” he wrote.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work