Where the hell is Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook?

It’s just totally amazing to me how badly Facebook is handling the PR around its new Beacon system.

This story is NOT going away. Even if this particular story goes away, there’s a bad taste in our mouths because Facebook tried to do something that clearly wasn’t for the users. When David Weinberger, one of the authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto, says that you have a real PR problem.

Yet when I look at TechMeme I don’t see ONE SINGLE INTERVIEW that Mark Zuckerberg, or top executives at Facebook, have given ANYONE.

Hell, don’t like me or other bloggers? Then give a press conference with professional press.

ANYTHING would be better than the way that Facebook is handling this.

This is what happens when a startup gets a controlling PR belief system. Steve Jobs can pull that off. Not many companies can.

Facebook’s PR machinery is hiding its head in the sand and hoping this story goes away.

Hint: it’s not.

Do the press conference. Admit you screwed up. Take your shots. Look into the camera and say you’re sorry.

Crisis PR hint: don’t answer company bashing with text messages. Do it in video and with live events. Have the CEO do it.

Or don’t. It’s your reputation, not mine that’s at stake here.

Or, maybe, Zuckerberg is about to get fired from his CEO job? That’s the gesture that’s being communicated to the world by not appearing in person and doing a press conference.

It’s amazing to see how fast Zuckerberg’s stock is falling in the conversation networks I’m hanging out in.

249 thoughts on “Where the hell is Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook?

  1. “It’s amazing to see how fast Zuckerberg’s stock is falling in the conversation networks I’m hanging out in.”

    Seems like this may have been a little premature.

  2. I propose an electronic Jihad against this evil fascistic dictatorship run by a child. Please read my blog at http://www.myspace.com/djbobafett to see my running trials and tribulations with this site. At this point, they up and cancelled me, with over 200 hours of work on my site, pages, events, profiles and advertisements. They are billing my card even though I no longer have an account. I called the Palo Alto offices at 650-543-4800 to dispute the bill (as it’s ads for a deleted site they’re billing me for) and had to call 3 times before a human picked up. I talked to a female Sam (supposedly the only Sam that works there, yeah right) and she said they do NOT offer voice billing support. i told her that by refusing to work with me, she is okaying my choice to dispute the charges with my credit card company. We’ll see. If you have ANY problems with the site or infrastructure, please call them, ask to talk to SAM, and tell them “DJ Boba Fett sent you.”

  3. I propose an electronic Jihad against this evil fascistic dictatorship run by a child. Please read my blog at http://www.myspace.com/djbobafett to see my running trials and tribulations with this site. At this point, they up and cancelled me, with over 200 hours of work on my site, pages, events, profiles and advertisements. They are billing my card even though I no longer have an account. I called the Palo Alto offices at 650-543-4800 to dispute the bill (as it’s ads for a deleted site they’re billing me for) and had to call 3 times before a human picked up. I talked to a female Sam (supposedly the only Sam that works there, yeah right) and she said they do NOT offer voice billing support. i told her that by refusing to work with me, she is okaying my choice to dispute the charges with my credit card company. We’ll see. If you have ANY problems with the site or infrastructure, please call them, ask to talk to SAM, and tell them “DJ Boba Fett sent you.”

  4. I propose an electronic Jihad against this evil fascistic dictatorship run by a child. Please read my blog at http://www.myspace.com/djbobafett to see my running trials and tribulations with this site. At this point, they up and cancelled me, with over 200 hours of work on my site, pages, events, profiles and advertisements. They are billing my card even though I no longer have an account. I called the Palo Alto offices at 650-543-4800 to dispute the bill (as it’s ads for a deleted site they’re billing me for) and had to call 3 times before a human picked up. I talked to a female Sam (supposedly the only Sam that works there, yeah right) and she said they do NOT offer voice billing support. i told her that by refusing to work with me, she is okaying my choice to dispute the charges with my credit card company. We’ll see. If you have ANY problems with the site or infrastructure, please call them, ask to talk to SAM, and tell them “DJ Boba Fett sent you.”

  5. Social networking sites probably have a similar shelf life to wherever the latest hot nite spot in town might be . Some close and some ebb and flow. But I’d like anybody to name anywhere that’s remained constantly cool for any appreciable amount of time.

    Facebook probably started to lose credibility amongst its rank and file the day your average portly tech blogger joined and started rattling on about it. You aren’t cool if you dislike beacon. You’re cool if you don’t care or haven’t heard of it.

    Call it The Facebook Baby Boomer Blitz if you will.

  6. Social networking sites probably have a similar shelf life to wherever the latest hot nite spot in town might be . Some close and some ebb and flow. But I’d like anybody to name anywhere that’s remained constantly cool for any appreciable amount of time.

    Facebook probably started to lose credibility amongst its rank and file the day your average portly tech blogger joined and started rattling on about it. You aren’t cool if you dislike beacon. You’re cool if you don’t care or haven’t heard of it.

    Call it The Facebook Baby Boomer Blitz if you will.

  7. Social networking sites probably have a similar shelf life to wherever the latest hot nite spot in town might be . Some close and some ebb and flow. But I’d like anybody to name anywhere that’s remained constantly cool for any appreciable amount of time.

    Facebook probably started to lose credibility amongst its rank and file the day your average portly tech blogger joined and started rattling on about it. You aren’t cool if you dislike beacon. You’re cool if you don’t care or haven’t heard of it.

    Call it The Facebook Baby Boomer Blitz if you will.

  8. All very valid points, Robert. I think this is symptomatic of the huge missed opportunity, and farcical lack of foresight that Facebook is only now waking up to.

    When the wraps came off in early November, I could NOT believe that they were a) Not going to sell subdomains such as http://mybrand.at.facebook.com b) Not going to have a layered software tool for brands, their PR and Online Media / Marketing companies to claim, manage and administrate groups of business pages c) Not split Social Ads Admin from Page Admin d) Not reveal Beacon well in advance to advertisers and privacy critics and e) Have such sloppy and useless terms and conditions added to deal with pages – http://www.facebook.com/terms_pages.php

    I thought these guys were smart – but they turn out to be acting like a bunch of green college kids after all, and having set something in motion with little thought for the all-too-obvious consequences, now they’re acting like paranoid a***oles to paper over the mess they made. And it’s a fine mess, to quote Oliver Hardy…

    No brand is not run by one person. Facebook have set up a mechanism where major global brands can have their name used or abused by any one person, and their legitimate fans can be disenfranchised, misled, and well-meaning brand advocates and fans can be simply dumped or left in limbo as readily as those who are acting with malicious intent – and all of this damages the credibility of facebook, and will be likely to take up a growing amount of admin time – and that’s before the lawyers get onto things. Get this one: “Facebook reserves the right, but is not obligated, to resolve any complaints, disputes, or potential disputes regarding the infringement of any third party trademarks in connection with your Facebook Page or Facebook URL in any manner it deems appropriate in its sole discretion.” Translation: “We might help you protect your IP, or we might not want to get involved. But whatever, we’re in charge, and your ability to protect your brand is powerless here, OK?”

    Pardon my french, but that’s one huge f***ing mess to make, especially if you want to monetize screen (or eyeball) real estate to those brands, and if I were an investor in a company that’s meant to be worth $15bn, I’d be kicking some asses very hard, starting right at the top, because this is the kind of self-inflicted damage that can destroy any company, but which makes the position of what is widely acknowledged to be an arrogant, fast-growth, high-growth and overvalued company very, very tenuous.

    The main asset of facebook is their user base, and their only source of cash at present comes from investors and advertisers. If they alienate or marginalise any of these constituencies, they destroy their business.

    This could be the tipping point that signals facebook’s decline unless they get this issue dealt with transparently and rapidly – and also creatively, because they really have been very dumb, and put themselves between a rock and a hard place.

  9. All very valid points, Robert. I think this is symptomatic of the huge missed opportunity, and farcical lack of foresight that Facebook is only now waking up to.

    When the wraps came off in early November, I could NOT believe that they were a) Not going to sell subdomains such as http://mybrand.at.facebook.com b) Not going to have a layered software tool for brands, their PR and Online Media / Marketing companies to claim, manage and administrate groups of business pages c) Not split Social Ads Admin from Page Admin d) Not reveal Beacon well in advance to advertisers and privacy critics and e) Have such sloppy and useless terms and conditions added to deal with pages – http://www.facebook.com/terms_pages.php

    I thought these guys were smart – but they turn out to be acting like a bunch of green college kids after all, and having set something in motion with little thought for the all-too-obvious consequences, now they’re acting like paranoid a***oles to paper over the mess they made. And it’s a fine mess, to quote Oliver Hardy…

    No brand is not run by one person. Facebook have set up a mechanism where major global brands can have their name used or abused by any one person, and their legitimate fans can be disenfranchised, misled, and well-meaning brand advocates and fans can be simply dumped or left in limbo as readily as those who are acting with malicious intent – and all of this damages the credibility of facebook, and will be likely to take up a growing amount of admin time – and that’s before the lawyers get onto things. Get this one: “Facebook reserves the right, but is not obligated, to resolve any complaints, disputes, or potential disputes regarding the infringement of any third party trademarks in connection with your Facebook Page or Facebook URL in any manner it deems appropriate in its sole discretion.” Translation: “We might help you protect your IP, or we might not want to get involved. But whatever, we’re in charge, and your ability to protect your brand is powerless here, OK?”

    Pardon my french, but that’s one huge f***ing mess to make, especially if you want to monetize screen (or eyeball) real estate to those brands, and if I were an investor in a company that’s meant to be worth $15bn, I’d be kicking some asses very hard, starting right at the top, because this is the kind of self-inflicted damage that can destroy any company, but which makes the position of what is widely acknowledged to be an arrogant, fast-growth, high-growth and overvalued company very, very tenuous.

    The main asset of facebook is their user base, and their only source of cash at present comes from investors and advertisers. If they alienate or marginalise any of these constituencies, they destroy their business.

    This could be the tipping point that signals facebook’s decline unless they get this issue dealt with transparently and rapidly – and also creatively, because they really have been very dumb, and put themselves between a rock and a hard place.

  10. You sure enjoy being a dick, eh?

    Is that comment meant for me? :)

    I enjoy tweaking the noses of morons who project their OWN lack of caring on the rest of the world. :) They end up saying things like “no one cares,” when what they really mean is “I personally don’t care.” You don’t care. BFD, thank you for playing and taking the time to tell the six people who DO care that you’re so much smarter.

    When you press these morons on the point, they end up saying even more idiotic things like, “Well, expressed as a percentage of the Earth’s population, very FEW people care.” Brilliant. Thanks for that.

    Scoble can blog about whatever he wants. He asked why more people don’t care, and I responded.

    Where exactly did he ask why more people don’t care?

    All I see in this post is YOU saying no one outside “the tech press” cares, despite GLOBAL coverage of the story in the mainstream news media.

    In a later post, Scoble said, “I backed off cause I see that people just don’t care about this issue the way that I do.” Which, you know, is not quite the same thing as asking why the average Joe Moron doesn’t care if his privacy gets violated.

    If you personally want to close your eyes, clap your hands over your ears and sing ♫ la la la nobody cares ♫, knock yourself out, have fun! Just don’t expect everyone else to sing along.

  11. You sure enjoy being a dick, eh?

    Is that comment meant for me? :)

    I enjoy tweaking the noses of morons who project their OWN lack of caring on the rest of the world. :) They end up saying things like “no one cares,” when what they really mean is “I personally don’t care.” You don’t care. BFD, thank you for playing and taking the time to tell the six people who DO care that you’re so much smarter.

    When you press these morons on the point, they end up saying even more idiotic things like, “Well, expressed as a percentage of the Earth’s population, very FEW people care.” Brilliant. Thanks for that.

    Scoble can blog about whatever he wants. He asked why more people don’t care, and I responded.

    Where exactly did he ask why more people don’t care?

    All I see in this post is YOU saying no one outside “the tech press” cares, despite GLOBAL coverage of the story in the mainstream news media.

    In a later post, Scoble said, “I backed off cause I see that people just don’t care about this issue the way that I do.” Which, you know, is not quite the same thing as asking why the average Joe Moron doesn’t care if his privacy gets violated.

    If you personally want to close your eyes, clap your hands over your ears and sing ♫ la la la nobody cares ♫, knock yourself out, have fun! Just don’t expect everyone else to sing along.

  12. You sure enjoy being a dick, eh?

    Scoble can blog about whatever he wants. He asked why more people don’t care, and I responded.

  13. You sure enjoy being a dick, eh?

    Scoble can blog about whatever he wants. He asked why more people don’t care, and I responded.

  14. You sure enjoy being a dick, eh?

    Scoble can blog about whatever he wants. He asked why more people don’t care, and I responded.

  15. Think whatever you want, Karim.

    Thanks for the permission. ;)

    The bulk of humanity, and indeed the bulk of Facebook’s users, could care less about this ongoing story. I don’t care if it appears on the front page of the NYT, that’s the way it is.

    “The bulk of humanity” is probably sitting in its own filth right now wondering where its next meal is coming from. And your point is what? Scoble shouldn’t blog about anything that doesn’t concern them? Or is your point that very few people, expressed as a percentage of Earth’s population, have a Facebook account? Thank you Captain Obvious.

  16. Think whatever you want, Karim.

    Thanks for the permission. ;)

    The bulk of humanity, and indeed the bulk of Facebook’s users, could care less about this ongoing story. I don’t care if it appears on the front page of the NYT, that’s the way it is.

    “The bulk of humanity” is probably sitting in its own filth right now wondering where its next meal is coming from. And your point is what? Scoble shouldn’t blog about anything that doesn’t concern them? Or is your point that very few people, expressed as a percentage of Earth’s population, have a Facebook account? Thank you Captain Obvious.

  17. Think whatever you want, Karim. The bulk of humanity, and indeed the bulk of Facebook’s users, could care less about this ongoing story. I don’t care if it appears on the front page of the NYT, that’s the way it is.

    The apology isn’t even on the front page of Digg, main or tech category. Maybe there’s something to that “wisdom of crowds” nonsense after all.

  18. Think whatever you want, Karim. The bulk of humanity, and indeed the bulk of Facebook’s users, could care less about this ongoing story. I don’t care if it appears on the front page of the NYT, that’s the way it is.

    The apology isn’t even on the front page of Digg, main or tech category. Maybe there’s something to that “wisdom of crowds” nonsense after all.

  19. Think whatever you want, Karim. The bulk of humanity, and indeed the bulk of Facebook’s users, could care less about this ongoing story. I don’t care if it appears on the front page of the NYT, that’s the way it is.

    The apology isn’t even on the front page of Digg, main or tech category. Maybe there’s something to that “wisdom of crowds” nonsense after all.

  20. I’m just glad that in most cases Zuckerberg has the courage to ignore sensationalist trolling.

    Yes! Because everyone knows it takes WAY more courage to stick your head in the sand than it does to listen to the complaints of THOUSANDS of customers you supposedly serve.

    Personally, I just think it was bad form. I mean, hiding in Der Facebunker, yelling at your generals for their incompetence, feeding cyanide capsules to your favorite dog — it’s all so 1945, honestly.

  21. I’m just glad that in most cases Zuckerberg has the courage to ignore sensationalist trolling.

    Yes! Because everyone knows it takes WAY more courage to stick your head in the sand than it does to listen to the complaints of THOUSANDS of customers you supposedly serve.

    Personally, I just think it was bad form. I mean, hiding in Der Facebunker, yelling at your generals for their incompetence, feeding cyanide capsules to your favorite dog — it’s all so 1945, honestly.

  22. I’m just glad that in most cases Zuckerberg has the courage to ignore sensationalist trolling.

    Yes! Because everyone knows it takes WAY more courage to stick your head in the sand than it does to listen to the complaints of THOUSANDS of customers you supposedly serve.

    Personally, I just think it was bad form. I mean, hiding in Der Facebunker, yelling at your generals for their incompetence, feeding cyanide capsules to your favorite dog — it’s all so 1945, honestly.

  23. The tech press, and worse, tech bloggers, are becoming so disconnected with the general population that they lose perspective.

    First: What “perspective” was lost, exactly? Scoble’s post was that Facebook screwed up and that Zuckerberg should have had some reaction OTHER than hiding under his desk.

    Hell, Zuckerberg just posted an weak apology today agreeing with Scoble, stating that Facebook took too long to react.

    Second, I guess I needed to give you TWO dozen links to publications like the New York Times, The Washington Post, etc. in order for you to realize that people other than “tech bloggers” care about this issue?

    Third, EVEN IF only “tech bloggers” cared, does that mean Scoble should not have blogged about the issue? He’s a tech blogger. Do you stalk blogs about knitting and then post comments like, “Only people who knit care about these things?” Does making those kinds of comments give you a warm, snuggly sense of superiority over those crazy, knitting-obsessed people who have lost touch with the “real world?”

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