Thursday, May 17, 2012

What If They Offered an IPO for a Silly Company, and Nobody Bought It?

About 70% of what is wrong with our economy can be summed up in Facebook's projected IPO of $38.  That would put the value of this cyber-concoction of dandelion fluff and jarred moonbeams at around $104 billion.  Uh-huh. 

I know lots of people like Facebook.  And that's fine.  But, what is it about Facebook that even remotely brings its value up to such an astronomical level?  The advertising potential?  Really?  Have you ever bought something you were not already going to buy because a "friend" "liked" it on Facebook?

And this is just my curmudgeonly, quasi-Luddite opinion, but about 75% of everything that is wrong with our culture can be summed up by the existence of Facebook at all.  The very phenomenon calls to my mind this lovely quote from a Wall Street Journal editorial on September 1, 2006: The therapeutic ethos of recent years has encouraged each of us to get every thought off our chest, lest we suffer from the ordeal of civility.  Engaging in face-to-face conversations, living within our communities, loving our neighbors as they are given to us from outside our control, measuring our words before we speak them -- these are the actions that civilize us, that build us up, that help us find common ground; emphatically not flinging posts at each other through cyberspace.

OK, leaping down from the soapbox now.  I mean, it's not that blogging is much better, truly.  But, it is more in depth and more about substance and thought than Facebook, I think.  Wherever your networking fancy takes you, go with God.  But, don't be surprised by the stupendous fall of Facebook in the near future.  It is a very silly company.


Morris said...

Justine, I agree with your opinion on FB. I do use it keep in contact with some relatives, but usually only check once a week or so. As for FB folding, though, I think you underestimate the idiocracy of the general populace in this medium.

Justine said...

Hi Morris! How goes it down south?

OK, so maybe not folding exactly; but, how about being another MySpace case? That is, akin to their downfall without becoming completely defunct (sold for $580 million in 2006; sold for $33 million in 2011)? I just think it's highly overvalued -- and, though currently popular, offers little prospect of ROI once it taps out. But I am no stock market maven -- just a skeptical pleb. :-)

All my best!

Flicka Spumoni said...

Where is the "like" button...? I can't find it and I really want the world to know that I agree with what both you and Morris said.

Justine said...

Yay! Flicka stopped by to visit! I see, too, that Difster stopped by your place. ;-) It's like a reunion of sorts of the old Blogger gang.

FB shares ended up at $38.13 today, btw. Ha!

Justine said...

Oops! I mean $38.23. Gotta refresh my WSJ homepage more often. Guess those investors made more than I thought.

Justine said...

Ooh! This is so good from the comments section at Ricochet, I just had to share it. Pat Sajak (yes, that Pat Sajak) wrote a post called, "The World We Face(book)" wherein he ponders the fate of concurrent self-absorption mixed with heedless self-revelation that is the Facebook generation. Read it here:

And in the comments section was something so wise and startling, that I just had to post it here on my own little anti-Facebook screed. From Blue Yeti comes this response to a comment by Peter Robinson (yes, that Peter Robinson):

Peter Robinson: Well, let's just say I can't for the life of me figure out why Facebook should be worth $100 million, let alone $100 billion.

You and me, Pat. Cavemen--and happy that way.

Blue Yeti
"Because Facebook knows so much about us -- where we live, what we are doing, who our friends are, what we like, etc, they can offer large but extremely targeted audiences to advertisers. There have recently been some questions about exactly how valuable that information is, but that's the theory anyhow.

To that end, a good general rule of thumb about Facebook or any other web site is that if the service is free, you're not the customer, you're the product. Once you understand that paradigm, it starts to make a bit more sense how a site like Facebook is worth billions."
[emphasis mine]

Wow. George Orwell had nothing on Mark Zuckerberg.

Flicka Spumoni said...

You may have just convinced me to quit facebook with that last revelation. Facebook is, or what I tell the world about me.

Flicka Spumoni said...

BTW - guess how I communicate with Difster now: Facebook!

Justine said...

Yeah, but Blogger's free too, so . . . hmmmm . . .

Presto Paranoia! LOL!