By Gregory MonePosted 12.06.2007 at 12:04 pm 2 Comments
The social-networking site Facebook may have to find another way to cash in on its huge user base. The company's new "social ads" program, called Beacon, has been controversial, forcing company founder Mark Zuckerberg (pictured here) to apologize, and tell users that they can turn it off if they like.
With Beacon, if a user bought a ticket through the movie site Fandango.com, his or her entire network would be informed. This didn't go over well. Moveon.org put together a protest and overstock.com, one of Facebook's ad partners, backed out after getting too many complaints. So, it looks like the company will keep looking for less invasive or annoying ways to generate revenue, and justify its enormous valuation. This isn't necessarily a devastating blow to Facebook, though. Some experts say the company simply needs to learn how to mind its manners, and all will be well again in its corner of Web 2.0.—Gregory Mone
By Gregory MonePosted 07.25.2007 at 12:49 pm 0 Comments
This could be a good one. For the Internet business crowd, it's the equivalent of the custody battle over Anna Nicole Smiths baby, though without the playmates and strange judge. Today, after years of back and forth, and with a whole lot of money on the line, a Boston judge will oversee a hearing to dismiss a lawsuit filed by social-networking site ConnectU against the founders of the much larger, and potentially more valuable Facebook.
The squabble stretches back to the major players days at Harvard, when the group that started ConnectU came up with the idea for a group of linked social networks focused on a single college. At one point, they had Mark Zuckerberg, the eventual founder of Facebook, work for them, and they allege that he effectively stole their idea, launching his own version before theirs went live. Attempts to appeal to school administrators failed, Facebook expanded, and in September 2004, the ConnectU founders filed their lawsuit. Basically, ConnectU wants to shut Facebook down. And Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, really needs to get this little lawsuit out of the way if, as rumored, he plans to either take the company public or sell to the highest bidder—a deal that some have speculated could be worth more than $1 billion. Read more about the history of this high-stakes, Harvard-based fight here.—Gregory Mone