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Ear to the Ground

Want to Own a Chunk of Facebook?

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Posted on Jan 3, 2011
Zuckerberg
flickr / deneyterrio

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg beams at an audience at the 2008 SXSWi conference.

Well, you may have to wait awhile, unless you’re among Goldman Sachs’ circle of elite customers who were given the investment opportunity Sunday night—an indication of other possible big moves that Goldman and Facebook might make down the line. Those outside that rarefied group could get the chance if the social networking behemoth goes public in 2012 or beyond.  —KA

The New York Times:

On Sunday night, a number of Goldman clients received an email from their Goldman broker, offering them the opportunity to invest in an unnamed “private company that is considering a transaction to raise additional capital.” Another person briefed on the deal said that Goldman clients would have to pony up a minimum of $2 million to invest and would be prohibited from selling their shares until 2013.

A Goldman spokesman declined to comment.

Facebook has raised $500 million from Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor in a transaction that values the company at $50 billion, according to people involved in the transaction. As part of its deal with Facebook, Goldman is expected to raise as much as $1.5 billion from investors for Facebook.

[...] Goldman’s involvement means it may be in a strong position to take Facebook public when it decides to do so in what is likely to be a lucrative and prominent deal.

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By rend, January 5, 2011 at 1:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

man this capitalism thing is rigged

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By Geoph, January 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lafayette,

I agree with much of what you said but would like to add my own two cents. It
is true that the human need “to belong” is the primary purpose of most social
networking sites such as Facebook, but that alone doesn’t explain why millions
- everyone from my 6 year old niece to my 64 year old mother - are on it.

Part of it is the issue of mobility in our culture. It’s not new, it began a few
generations ago, but it’s become much more common. Our real social networks
are unstable. Friends go off to college, move for new job opportunities and
many more reasons so we turn to virtual social networks to keep in touch.

That is how it begins…

The trouble is when narcissism kicks in. In a society where many lives are in a
rut, the opportunity to be the center of attention is very alluring. We may not
find much satisfaction in our jobs or community involvement (more often a lack
of community involvement) so we seek out justification and engagement here
online such as this comment thread. We can preach to our choir on politics and
social issues, post pictures of our “exciting lives”, comment on the topics of the
day and receive feedback - a “favorite”, “like”, “thumbs up” or whatever that
said site offers.

So, it goes beyond just a sense of belonging and really becomes a validation of
our greater importance. For some it can become a compulsion, an addiction to
be important. In our real life few people notice us but online we can be popular.

My fear is that it is creating a general apathy to “off-line” life. That people feel
everything can be solved online. When reality is a bummer, they can find
companionship, community and support online leading them to be distracted
from the real problems or worse, caught up in a rejection of reality.

This is a large part of why once fringe elements of society are rearing their
heads in mainstream culture. Some of this is good. For minority groups like
LGBT teens suffering from bullies they have places they can go online to feel
accepted. But it’s also dangerous in cases like the resurgence of the
Aryan/Patriot/militia movement. And, it does make us easy targets for
marketers selling everything from sodas to wars.

So, the sense of belonging is where it stems from, but that is actually a good
thing. We should all want to belong to our community. The trouble is when it
becomes a narcissistic obsession with validation and a distraction from our
reality.

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By Employment Law Attorney, January 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no sign of Facebook going out.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, January 4, 2011 at 3:24 am Link to this comment

THE NEED TO BELONG

It was a sad realization that came to me. I must be getting old, perhaps too old for this Internet Generation that I helped to bring about after many years in IT.

Putting up such intimate information for public consumption in the hopes of making human contact is not “friendship” - and anyone thinking that they have a ten, a hundred or more “friends” because they are on Facebook is an act of desperate self-delusion.

That it became a modern-day phenomenon across the planet should surprise no one and neither inspire anyone. This is not “life”, where human contact is personal and real. It is just a virtual-world that consists of electronic pulses across a grid. It is ephemeral - here today and gone tomorrow.

Useless, except to those who need to reach out into the ether for friendship and mutual acknowledgement - perhaps because they are incompetent at establishing personal relationships by means of direct contact?

It quenches a thirst for the human need to “belong”?

POST SCRIPTUM

Or, worse, for those who want to exploit its users for commercial purposes.

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By Morpheus, January 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

Face book is childs play for children. The Cyber World is for grown-ups.

http://www.osixs.org/V2_Meun_CyberWorld.aspx

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