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Archive for February 2011

We’re just serfs in the machines of Facebook, Twitter, HuffPo

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I am a content slave — a serf, says David Carr of The New York Times.

[T]hink of Facebook, which is composed of half a billion freely given user profiles, along with a daily stream of videos, posts and messages. It is both a media site and a social network, and all of the content is provided free of charge. By creating a template for information and a frame around it, along with a community that also serves as an audience, this new generation of content companies have created the equivalent of a refrigerator that manufactures and consumes its own food. [emphasis added]

A helluva business model, eh? It’s paying off handsomely for the folks who own the refrigerator. Arianna Huffington et al. have sold The Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million. Over the past several months, Facebook’s market cap (a company’s capitalized value calculated by multiplying current share price by the number of outstanding shares) has been variously estimated between $25 billion and $41 billion.

Twitter has been valued at $8 billion to $10 billion — not bad for a company with about 300 paid employees.

Let’s leave to another day (and a more competent correspondent) the question of whether media companies whose business models appear dependent on serfs like me are overvalued. More important considerations linger.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

February 15, 2011 at 10:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized