There are some eye opening statistics in the Time article, “Mark Zuckerburg, 2010 Person of the Year.”

This year, Facebook — now minus the the — added its 550 millionth member. One out of every dozen people on the planet has a Facebook account. They speak 75 languages and collectively lavish more than 700 billion minutes on Facebook every month. Last month the site accounted for 1 out of 4 American page views. Its membership is currently growing at a rate of about 700,000 people a day…. Facebook has merged with the social fabric of American life, and not just American but human life: nearly half of all Americans have a Facebook account, but 70% of Facebook users live outside the U.S.

If like me, you’re still thinking of Facebook along the lines of the October 2009 statistics included in the “Did You Know 4.0” video, these stats provide a needed update.

The following paragraph from the article is also of special interest to us as educators:

Zuckerberg has a personal connection to the teaching profession — Chan taught grade school after Harvard — but more than that, he finds the state of education in the U.S. mathematically inelegant. “It just strikes me as this huge issue that teaching isn’t respected or compensated in our society for the economic value that it’s actually probably producing for society,” he says. On Dec. 9, as part of a campaign organized by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, he pledged to give away at least half his wealth over the course of his lifetime.

If you’re lucky enough to share a meal with Zuckerburg, have your elevator pitch about your school ready. It can pay off. Just ask leaders in Newark, New Jersey.

Facebook is continuing to transform the web and our lives, from Farmville to Facebook fan pages. A big part of this is the friend-sourcing, instead of crowd-sourcing, which the site enables. Again from the article:

Not that long ago, a post-Google Web was unimaginable, but if there is one, this is what it will look like: a Web reorganized around people. “It’s a shift from the wisdom of crowds to the wisdom of friends,” say Sandberg. “It doesn’t matter if 100,000 people like x. If the three people closest to you like y, you want to see y.” Now take it off the Web. Put it on TV. Imagine a slate of shows sorted by which of your friends likes them, instead of by network. Now put it on your phone. Take it mobile.

The social knowledge which Facebook owns makes is a fundamental gamechanger for advertising. My limited experiences with my first Facebook ad last week showed that dramatically: Over 33K impressions/views and 13 clicks by people interested in technology workshops living in a 50 mile radius of Oklahoma City, all in a 3.5 hour period of time for a total cost of $10. Amazing! According to the article:

Facebook still doesn’t sell banner ads. But Sandberg has been able to attract a roster of A-list advertisers, such as Nike, Vitaminwater and Louis Vuitton, by pointing out things they hadn’t noticed about Facebook, like how much it knows about its users. Google can serve ads to you on the basis of educated guesses about who you are and what you’re interested in, which are based in turn on your search history. Facebook doesn’t have to guess. It knows exactly who you are and what you’re interested in, because you told it. So if Nike wants its ads shown only to people ages 19 to 26 who live in Arizona and like Nickelback, Facebook can make that happen. In the world of targeted advertising, Facebook has a high-powered sniper rifle.

If you are ignoring social media today as a business owner and potential advertiser, you’re missing a big boat. The good news is, you can always jump on board.

In the article, Zuckerburg pontificates a bit on what the future will hold for Facebook specifically and our society more generally:

“I think the next five years are going to be about building out this social platform,” Zuckerberg says, on a long walk around Facebook’s neighborhood in Palo Alto in December. “It’s about the idea that most applications are going to become social, and most industries are going to be rethought in a way where social design and doing things with your friends is at the core of how these things work. If the last five years was the ramping up, I think that the next five years are going to be characterized by widespread acknowledgment by other industries that this is the way that stuff should be and will be better.”

He also highlights the core importance of passion in changing the world.

But for all its flaws, there was no other way for Facebook to begin. Only someone like Zuckerberg, someone as brilliant and blinkered and self-confident and single-minded and social as he is, could have built it. “The craziest thing to me in all this,” he says, “is that I remember having these conversations with my friends when I was in college. We would just sort of take it as an assumption that the world would get to the state where it is now. But, we figured, we’re just college kids. Why were we the people who were most qualified to do that? I mean, that’s crazy!” He shakes his head, with the same perplexed expression as when the director of the FBI crashed his meeting. Then he decides. “I guess what it probably turns out is, other people didn’t care as much as we did.”

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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