If it isn’t bad enough that the computer world dominates the news coverage most every day here in the Silicon Valley and its environs, during the last two days the Valley’s designated messenger, the San Jose Mercury News, has made Mark Zuckerberg’s life a never-ending story.
The founder of Facebook was featured on a front-page story on September 23 titled “Unfriended” which was all about the movie “The Social Network” which depicts his meteoric rise to fame and fortune. Or is it fortune and infamy? The story covered two-thirds of the front page and two-thirds of page 15. According to the Merc’s story, the very private Zuckerberg will not be pleased with the depiction of his life and how he had to buy out two former Harvard roommates who claimed that they were the true creators of the social network giant. Allegedly Zuckerberg settled with them for a mere $65 million.
The Merc’s first Facebook story today was on page A6 and its headline touted “Facebook outage inspires tweets — and a few hoots.” This was the second day in a row that the world’s largest social network faltered and may have disturbed more than a few of its 500,000,000 users.
Then in the business section under “Facebook CEO latest tech tycoon to try philanthropy,” the story says that the unassuming Zuckerberg lad is quietly donating $100 million to the downtrodden Newark, New Jersey school system. Oh yes, he’s doing it on “Oprah.” Could this be a means to counteract the possible negative publicity that he might receive after people see ”The Social Network?” A few inches under that story is another on “Facebook working on a phone deal.”
Not Missing the Mark
If you think that Mark is not getting his just due, then go to Google and type in “Mark Zuckerberg” and you will get 7,880,000 results and when you do the same for “Facebook,” you will find 11,190,000 results. Not bad for a young man who celebrated his twenty-sixth birthday on May 14.
I have had numerous requests to join social networks from, among others, former students, an ex-wife, cousins, table tennis buddies, and Holocaust survivors. They have asked me to share with them, and the majority of the dozens of requests come from users of Facebook and LinkedIn, with others from Yahoo and Shtyle.
But Facebook to Shtyle is not my style and I send out a polite e-mail to those who send me such requests. It reads in part, “In the age of the Internet, I enjoy my privacy and refuse to join any of the "social networks" so my thoughts and ideas I share with those people I know, are shared only with those people I care to, one person at a time.”
Of course, there’s a slight contradiction to the above paragraph since I write for two blogs in which I share my thoughts with many. There’s the Huffington Post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harvey-gotliffe-phd/ and the Ho-Ho-Kus Cogitator at http://theho-ho-kuscogitator.blogspot.com/
I can honestly say that I have not amassed a fortune doing these blogs. The wealth derived from them is $6.9 billion less than Mark Zuckerberg’s combined wealth of $6.9 billion to the penny, and I have yet to hear from Oprah.