This past week in a cold Waterfront San Francisco convention center Fort Mason, Mark Zuckerberg outlined a plan for a lack of a better term how he plans to take over the world. This was a glamorous event in a vary non-glamorous setting. There were Expensive cocktails in a warehouse, there were Scottish synth pop bands overlooking Alcatraz Island, and in a night filed with the polarities of our wording coming to the fore both figuratively and literally. This seemed appropriate when we consider what Facebook is, it is the melding of any socio-economic setting on the same platform.
This gathering was put on by Facebook to benefit of their delegates attending the F8 conference, and trust me no expense was sacrificed. An event like this, but not on the same scale obviously. This is a kind of state of the state address where they go over what they are going to do in the next year and how they aim to grow and change in the next calendar year. There were upwards of 2,600 delegates and they all paid $595 to attend to find out how they can integrate their own digital products with Facebook to carve out some kind of new presence among its enormous audience. This of course with a lot of alcohol and entertainment provided, to create a loose rich shindig.
Mark Zuckerberg gave his brief key note speech then passed the mic off to bands and other speakers throughout the evening. Not before he announced however, that he would be giving every attendee a free virtual reality headset and Samsung smartphone.
He then moved on to saying that the nation, was turning inward and moving against the idea of a connect world and community. He goes on to say that “we’ve gone from a world of isolated communities to a one global community and we are all better off for it.” This fails of coarse to address the fact that about 3 billion people do not have access to the internet, nor Facebook, but his point is at least half way correct. This whole speech was less techie and more of a kind of state of the union feel, where he spoke of the systems and inter-workings of people and the nations the reside more so than the inner workings of a circuit and the computer which it resides, which is a deviation from the feel these address have had in the past.
“You hear all the platitudes about Facebook connecting the planet, but to say they are doing it for benevolent reasons is absolute nonsense. It’s about connecting commerce, not people,” says venture capitalist Om Malik. This is a clear concern and there is a lot of truth to what he is saying, but at the end of the day if the effect of the action produces good, even if it is from a selfish point, is it all bad. Although this a lavish business meeting, they outline how they want to connect the world, and it will be much better as a result of it happening than if it had not.