Book Review: The Facebok Effect

The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the WorldThe Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A lot of things about facebook are a mystery to me.

Not how to use the service or why it is so popular, but why the pages have so few ads on them; how were they able to scale so smoothly; why have they never listed publicly ?; how do they make money ?; why were they so ignorant of the privacy implications of what they did ?

Well this book went a long way to answering these questions.

The answer to these questions is Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg’s driving force with facebook was to `grow the site’. He hates banner ads, he isn’t particularly worried about making money, he has total and absolute control over every aspect of the company including 3 of the 5 seats on the board.

The desire to grow the site has driven the problems. They were willing to do almost anything to entice more users. This, I feel is the root of the claims of facebook being evil.

I didn’t understand this important point until I read this book.

Intelligent debate about Facebook is hard to find out there. For such a heavyweight in the internet, it doesn’t get talked about much. This book filled in a lot of the gaps for me.

So I felt quite satisfied after reading this book. My questions were answered by the central role that Mark Zuckerberg plays in facebook – it is HIS company.

If I had to critcize the book I would say that the author seems a little too fond of Zucks, a bit to quick to praise him or dismiss his faults. Almost sycophantic at times.

If you have a passing interest in facebook as a technology or as a phenomenon, then this book is for you.

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Book Review: The Facebok Effect