This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Monday, May 21, 2012

About Face!

facebookfacebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

          I started to write this post last Thursday to post today (Monday), but then decided it would make more sense to wait until after the big Facebook IPO had actually happened.  This is coming from one who knows very little about stock market issues or finances period.   In fact, I am a financial nincompoop which probably explains why I'm not rolling in dough.

           For the past couple weeks or more we've been hearing all sorts of hype about the Facebook stock going on sale to the public and the billions of dollars that would be raised and that would be falling into the bank accounts of those who already had stock or who would be trading in it.  If I had made my prediction on Thursday that the opening day would not be as big of a boom as some were expecting, I would have been right.

            Now, I certainly don't have any well-founded knowledge about this whole IPO thing.  As I stated at the beginning I'm a big know-nothing about this sort of thing, but the hype was getting to be a bit too much to not make me a bit suspicious.  My own intuitive sense--which is just my silly opinion--makes me wonder about how long Facebook can hold its value.

             Google and some others are certainly holding their own, but there are probably many more tech and  internet related companies that are dying slow deaths or being absorbed into larger conglomerations.  What can Facebook do to grow in the future?

            Supposedly they have potential for selling advertising--this said right after GM withdrew a ten million dollar advertising deal because they weren't seeing the anticipated results.  And who looks at Facebook advertising anyway?   It was a long time before I realized there was advertising.

            Then also I'm hearing this thing about portals, which is something to do with people using Facebook to go to other places on the web and then FB gets some kind of commission.  Supposedly this will be a huge source of income.  Also there could be the possibility of charging for premium services like photo storage.  Those guys at FB are smart--a lot smarter than I am--and I'm sure they can come up with ingenious ways to make money. At least until the next smart guys come along to do something similar in a better way.

            Don't get me wrong--if anyone has some extra stock they want to turn over to me, I'll take it off your hands if you want to give it to me.  And if I had money to play with I would probably be tempted to invest.  I'm just feeling pessimistic.  

             There's something bigger to this whole thing that kind of bothers me and I'll be telling you about that in my next post.  Come back on Wednesday for ANOTHER THING I DON'T UNDERSTAND AND WHAT I FIND DISTURBING ABOUT IT.

               Did you invest in any Facebook stock?  Would you?   Where do you think Facebook will be going in the future?   Do you use Facebook and if so, to what extent?    If there were a charge to be on Facebook would you be willing to pay it?   Is anybody still on MySpace?

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  1. I was only just aware that the shares were on sale. As for buying any - not on my pension!
    I use FB to keep in touch with family and friends, don't look at the adverts, don't play the silly games, and I think the two-page system is daft.
    So there you have it - my attitude summed up in two sentences that prove how much a reactionary old fart I am!

  2. I think that Facebook, like everything on the internet may just be a fad that could die out at any time so I'd have been seriously hesitant to invest in any stock but it's incredible just how much the company is worth now so investing would have paid off for anybody. I love using the website and I hope that it will continue to have the storming success it is now for a very long time, even if I'm not completely confident they will.

  3. I deactivated my FB account, and it's the single greatest thing I've done for my social life. Now, if people want to get a hold of me, they actually have to call me.

  4. No investment other than for personal use. I've begun using it more to help others promote their writerly work, and am hoping to do the same for myself soon.

  5. Great title by the way. I think Facebook is here to stay for a while until the next greatest thing comes along. But you'd have to be super great to top FB.


  6. I wouldn't invest in Facebook.I've had no end of problems, they have blocked me for 6 weeks for asking people to be friends and they took me off the Daniel fans group taking with them most of my friends.
    So no thank you, no investing for me.


  7. I think FB is here to stay. Even younger people in my family find it annoying yet can't give it up.

  8. Facebook has been making some major purchases lately, so not sure what else they have planned for the future. I'm on there but I don't visit every single day.

  9. I didn't pay any attention to the whole FB stock sale thing. I started on FB because my kids were posting pictures of my grandkids there (and I got tired of asking them to send me copies). Now it's something I use because it's fun to see what's going on with people I'd probably lose touch with otherwise. But I fully expect FB to fade away at some point and we'll all migrate to whatever comes next.

  10. i know, i was wondering the same thing about poor old myspace---and yes the brainy best did not do this stock thing very well---no i did not invest and no i wouldn't pay if they started charging!

  11. Great post! No, I don't invest in anything other than relationships ... not enough money for that kind of stuff. I enjoy FB and check it everyday. I like having everybody all in one spot. It has caused headaches and hurt feelings, but overall I find it helpful. Would I pay for it? I don't know. I paid for before FB came along it it wasn't even 1/32 as good, but it was what we had. I like putting my pictures on there before I select a few for blog posts.

    I don't play the games or read the ads either.

    Kathy M.

  12. Lizy -- You're not alone--I'm with you. The games are absurd and I don't like the page changes they made.

    Yeamie - I enjoy looking at Facebook now and then, but I'm not hooked. My loyalties could easily change and I think that's often the case in our fad-driven world.

    Nellie -- I prefer phone calls, but I don't even do that like I used to.

    SA -- I can see some promotional potential with Facebook. I found it to be somewhat useful during the A to Z Challenge.

    Teresa -- I think you got it right. "Super great" is mostly a matter of perception in the eyes of the public due to the hype. FB is a fine social platform, but if they start upsetting users then watch out! They'd better heed the lessons of other platforms that have passed.

    Yvonne -- I can't imagine FB block you! Who exactly were you contacting?

    Wendy -- Time will tell.

    L. Diane -- I'm wondering if their investments are wise? From what I've heard is that some of those purchases like Instagram don't have revenue generation either. What will FB be doing? It will be interesting to see.

    LD -- That's the same reason why I'm mostly on FB. I like to see what my kids and grandkids are up to and see the photos they post. I sometimes look at what some of my friends are doing, but I'm not on FB much at all.

    Lynn -- I'm with you. If FB ever started charging I'd be out of there.

    Kathy M -- I paid for Classmates too, but it was pretty much of a waste of money. Not much return for the value. I tried to cancel last year but they had already charged my card and wouldn't work with me. This year I'm dumping Classmates. If FB charged they would get dumped as well.


  13. I don't really know much either, but I'm also just feeling skeptical. Guess we'll see what happens.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  14. I'm not even interested in a Facebook account!

  15. Hi Lee!
    First off, for them to call it an "IPO" is a farce and very misleading. You or I, couldn't have purchased any of this stock even if we wanted to. The offering was made to large investors first, so they could become even more rich. There will certainly be some trickle down to the rest of us (that will make them even MORE money).

    Secondly, I've heard young folks (and we have plenty in our family) say that FB, is becoming passe and they want something new.

    IMHO, I believe that they went "public" because those in the know, realize that the FB salad days are behind them. By going public they protect themselves from any huge losses when it eventually goes the way of Myspace and a ton of other social media sites.
    Sorry for the long winded comment.

  16. Sarah -- We'll see. I think FB will still have a fairly long run, especially if the people running things have some innovative ideas that produce substantial income.

    Alex -- The FB account for you could have some promotional benefit, but I can understand your reluctance.

    Pat -- Love the "long winded comments" I think you're probably right. The new kids on the internet will be looking for something fresh that they can identify with better. So many internet site have come and gone and I think this will continue. I'm not sure that their is the same kind of brand loyalty for internet "products" as there is for tangible hard products like cars and laundry detergent.


  17. 1. No, I did not invest in any FB stock.

    2. Since it is always about the "Benjamins," FB will go in the future the direction of where there is money to be made. The original intent or design will be slowly disregarded in favor of profits.

    3. I use it, to see what some friends and family are up too. I don't do any of the apps or games at all.

    4. If there were ever a charge I would delete my account and not use FB.

    5. I have never been to MySpace so I can't tell you if there is anybody still there or not.

  18. Interesting post, can't wait for Wednesdays.
    No, didn't buy any FB stock, but it was tempting.
    I am a sporadic FBer and only signed up in Jan.
    I would not pay for FB, but sure wish I was the guy who dreamed it up.

  19. Happily FB free and always have been. Seems like a negative entity for the most part so not interested. I live outside of Seattle where I have seen way too many tech things go bankrupt over the years. Only a very small number of these type of things have true staying power.

  20. I never invest in a stock that insiders are willing to part with. Very bad strategy, unless you need a tax write off.

  21. I don't even own a FB account never mind a piece of the stock! I never believe the hype on almost anything - there's alwasy so much hot air!

  22. Gregg -- I certainly wouldn't pay to be on Facebook.

    Elizabeth -- I wish I could come up with something as successful as Facebook.

    Jasmine -- There's not enough history to judge many of the big tech stocks. They could go anytime.

    C.Lee -- Yeah, if the people in the know start ditching the stock you know something's up.

    Jemi -- These days hype is everywhere.


  23. Dear Arlee, I hardly know what Facebook is except that my sister-in-law says she uses it to keep up to date with what is happening in the lives of her daughters and grandchildren. Peace.

  24. I didn't buy any and I really don't know anyone who did. I am clueless when it comes to the stock market, but I know that one of the few times we made any money was when my younger sister talked my husband into buying Yahoo stock when it was first available. I didn't even know what Yahoo was back then (I was a slow starter on the internet ). I actually thought she was talking about the chocolate watery drink, Yohoo. We made quite a bit and actually sold too early .

    I don't get on Facebook nearly as often as I used to. I use it mainly to reconnect with old friends and to monitor what my teenagers are doing.

    Thanks for sharing and I tend to agree with you. I am looking forward to what you have to add next week.

  25. I didn't buy any stock. Do I wish I had 5 years ago? Oh yeah.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Arlee. Have a great day.

    Joylene Nowell Butler, Author

  26. Great instincts Lee! Maybe you should dabble with stocks more? FB does seem to be losing some steam and the Wall Street is reacting accordingly. Don't think it will go the way of myspace, but you never know. I thought the same of Yahoo!

  27. Dee -- That's how I use FB. It is a good way to see photos that family members share and to see what others are up to.

    Melissa -- It's probably good that you sold the Yahoo! stock from what I've been hearing.

    Joylene -- The stock market is a gamble. If we had the foresight to know which stocks would make us rich then we'd all be buying stocks, but then the game wouldn't work the same.

    Buckssver-- I was mostly picking up the vibes of what I was hearing from some of the experts. If I had a lot of disposable income then I might play the market. I'm sure I'd do better with the stocks than I do with the slots.


  28. As a writer, I know that I should be utilizing social media to its fullest - and yet, I find that FB and other sites end up taking far too much time away from what I want to do, which is...write. As for buying the stock, no. I think the IPO was timed to late and that FB is a little too mature to undergo any significant expansion. (The underwriting company - I forget who - ended up buying a large block of the stock to buoy the price, which set off alarm bells for me.) And I think the general consensus is that if FB starts charging, there will be an exodus of users. I don't really use it, don't look at the ads, and don't play games; and I'm very wary of security and privacy issues. To keep in touch with far-flung friends/family I use Twitter or Skype.

  29. I don't use it and wont' until the fix all they privacy issues. There are some other features that I don't care for either and they need options to turn everything off. ;)

  30. I didn't think FB would do much with their initial IPO. That being said, FB is just a baby. They are on my watch list as FB could easily become an Apple or a Google or an Amazon. Income streams could come from a wide array of possibilities.

  31. I think people like free. FB charges they will all make a mass exodus to the next big free thing. IMHO

  32. I have a FB account, but don't use it much. I post links to my blog posts on it and I wish friends and family birthday wishes, when I remember to check in. I'm more into Twitter and blogging.

  33. Li-- I heard about that stock price manipulation, but I guess that is a common tactic that is totally legal, but like you I don't think it sends a good message to investors in the know.

    Southpaw -- Like many of the internet companies I think FB will primarily serve as a data collection agent. We are being watched.

    Stephen -- I keep hearing about the diverse income stream potential available to FB, but I don't know that I'm totally convinced.

    Ciara -- I guarantee you there would be a mass exodus from FB if they started charging.

    Susanne - I'm the same as you with FB. Most of my time and energy goes into blogging. I'll tweet now and then, but I rarely look at Twitter to see what is being tweeted by others and I'll bet it's the same for most everyone else.


  34. I'm on FB simply because everyone told me it would be good for my writer image. But, I only log on a few times a month.

    I post so rarely that the minute it airs, it is relegated to the "old posts" bottom of the deluge pile. Worse than and agent's slush pile, cuz even my family and friends never see the post.

    Eh, my blog is enough for me. I don't tweet, I get disgusted with all the "privacy" hype on FB, Google, Blogger, and any other so called social network. I'm certainly not about to purchase stock in a site that is supposed to be "free" to the subscriber.

    If stamps were'nt so expensive, I'd just write letters. Wait, I can text for free . .

    No doubt about it, I'm confused by all this stuff.


  35. I'm mainly a stalker; you know, looking at everyone's pictures. :) The only thing I put on my page is a link to my blog post; that's it. Borrring.

    I don't worry about what facebook's plans are, what they get from our usage; probably because Big Brother is now everywhere. So, I only put out what I don't mind anyone seeing.

    I would consider buying a few shares of stock. I believe it's here for the long haul; as long as a usage fee is not attached. I'd close out if that were the case.

  36. Hi Lee - it gets ever more interesting .. being sued re the float - lots of entertainment ahead of us .. as this thing cranks through the Courts ..

    Cheers Hilary

  37. Donna -- I get pretty confused myself when it comes to all of this technology. Twitter seems kind of weird even though I do tweet stuff just in case anyone is looking. Facebook helps me keep track of my kids (all grown but they post on FB).

    Anita -- We'll see how long FB hangs in there. This IPO debacle will not be helping things.

    Hilary -- Things could get ugly.



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