Facebook is adding a new verb to its repertoire — it’s another one you probably never thought you’d need a computer with Internet access to perform. Soon, Facebook users will be able to “want” things. It’s kind of like we’re robots that are slowly learning to be human.
This story was originally published on Feb. 1, 2012, but given today’s Facebook IPO, we thought we’d re-run it. – The Eds.
Rumor has it that Facebook is set to file an IPO in the near future. No doubt, this will be a big deal. Not only is Facebook omnipresent in our social lives, its also helping shape our economy. A few months ago, a study showed that Facebook apps have created 182,000 jobs worth more than $12 billion. So is investing in Facebook a good idea?
Well, maybe, according to Gerard Hoberg, associate professor of finance at the University of Maryland. In the pro-column: Facebook is already huge, and it seems like it’s here to stay. And word on the street that Morgan Stanley is underwriting the IPO. “History shows that IPOs underwritten by strong names… tend to be successful investments,” Hoberg points out. But the big question is growth. Is it possible for Facebook to get bigger than it already is? “How much upside is left?” Hoberg wonders. “Although the first day return for Facebook will likely be substantial, its long-term outlook may be average for the industry.”
So invest or not, as you see fit… but prepared for a whole lot more Facebook in your future.
As was reported earlier this month in The New York Times, Mark Zuckerberg visited Baltimore last week as part of his Facebook IPO dog and pony show. One place he paused? The downtown headquarters of T. Rowe Price, of course, whose stake in the social media juggernaut is worth over $500 million.
Boy Wonder brought along his chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, and the two had to sneak inside.
“They were trying to avoid a Fox 45 camera team near the building so they came in throught the service elevator,” said one person who attended the meeting. “Mark was in his hoodie, as is his M.O.”
Zuckerberg presented to the group and munched on chicken parm, pasta, and Italian bread, just like any 27-year-old (he turned 28 a few days later). Then he was off to BWI to head back to California and more of the roadshow.
Facebook already wants your personal information. Now they want your organs too! Well, kind of. The social networking site has added a feature on its new “timeline” profile configuration that makes it easy for users to share their organ donor status, and the site links to users’ local authorities where they can register officially.
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was inspired by his girlfriend, who’s currently attending medical school, and Steve Jobs’s public battle with pancreatic cancer.
Johns Hopkins surgeon Andrew M. Cameron helped the social networking giant develop the initiative and is excited about the greater awareness and participation that Facebook can facilitate. More than 2,000 Marylanders are awaiting organs, a number that is on the rise, even as the number of donors stays stagnant. Currently, in Maryland, 50 percent of licensed drivers have registered as organ donors.
So if you participate in Facebook’s organ donation initiative, you’ll be doing more than just helping a billionaire impress his girlfriend; you could potentially save a life.
When Giant announced it was moving its supermarket out of the historic Rotunda in Hampden, many in the neighborhood bemoaned its imminent departure. Others saw an opportunity, namely to invite the sorta-organic, store-brand-heavy, quickly-expiring-produce-selling (come on, it’s true), aesthetically pleasing, and above all, inexpensive grocery chain Trader Joe’s to open in the soon-to-be-vacant location.
One such supermarket visionary decided to take it all the way and started a facebook page (with 898 likes and counting) that links to an online petition as well as Trader Joe’s’s (that can’t be right) own “location request” webform where Baltimoreans who are sick of driving to Towson can bring their demand to “Joe” himself.
If you decide to send a request to TJ’s, could you throw in something about making their check-out counters a little bigger? I mean, I can’t be the only who thinks that they are crazy small.
There are a lot of exciting ways to break the law (international money laundering! treason! running guns!); as of August 28, though, there will be a brand new boring way to get in trouble, at least in Missouri: becoming Facebook friends with your teacher.
The idea behind the law (Missouri Senate Bill 54) is to minimize inappropriate contact and to “more clearly define teacher-student boundaries.” And while it’s pretty obvious that some boundaries shouldn’t be crossed (ie, buying beer/weed for your high school students), others are trickier to parse. Combine that with the internet’s ever-expanding archive of embarrassing material, and it’s sometimes hard to say what teachers can and can’t do. Should a good teacher be fired for writing about a past stint as a sex-worker? For posting Facebook photos of herself with a few drinks? For favoring objectionable (to some) bumper stickers?
So, will banning teacher/student Facebook friendships help create those boundaries? Or will it just keep teachers and students from forging stronger bonds, both in the classroom and out of it?