I’ve read more than enough blog posts about an interview last week of Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) by a lady named Sarah Lacy at the South by SouthWest festival. According to many reports the interview got out of hand and the crowd bordered on rioting. I’ve had time to analyze the video on YouTube and came to a couple of conclusions.
Let’s first understand the new power of the internet. Facebook is garnering cult status in the same way as Myspace did (or arguably still does). Twitter is the new kid on the block but in a different way. It allows you to use your phone or computer to send short sentences etc. on where you are and what you’re doing. The people who subscribe to your Twitter can then get constant updates on you. With the combination of these tools people are given the sense of belonging and even the sense of hierachy in this feudal internet system. Those people being deemed as higher on the totem pole get followed more on Facebook and Twitter.
Poor Sarah Lacy didn’t have a chance. It was nothing out of the ordinary done in the interview but all it takes is one powerful opinion. Robert Scoble is a huge blogging figure and has more Twitter followers than anyone. With that much power over minds he’s a new Madonna of internet pop culture. With a passing “Twit” he said the interview was getting out of control. It could have purely been his opinion but now people in the audience who are actually watching the interview in real time are turned into mindless drones to the cult of culture. Feeling that someone that must know more than them had said something they fell into a riot mentality that didn’t even physically develop.
Sarah Lacy, I’m sure, had no idea that the tide was even turning towards her. A couple of heckles from the audience are to be expected. She could not have known that her flirtatious style was not welcomed by one opinion that turned others into an angry mob. I must say I don’t particularly care for her overly flirtatious and air-headed questions but I’ve spoke on this before in our industry and its becoming the norm.
In conclusion, all these social networking solutions are great but please people don’t just take your Tweets so seriously. This is just a modern day passing of notes during class. Just because the “cool” kid in class passes the note that says the teacher’s outfit looks like a banana, don’t just laugh because of the originator of the message. Even knowing that I was probably that kid that might have passed the note.
As a final note though, Sarah should be black-listed because of her response to the situation, ” Seriously screw all you guys. I did my best to ask a range of things.” Really? That’s your response?