|December 4, 2007|
|Welcome to Crisis Mode, Facebook|
|By Greg Hazley|
|Facebook is having some trouble adjusting to its newfound status.|
There was founder Mark Zuckerberg’s legal tussle with a Harvard-inspired magazine that posted excerpts of his personal papers and college application in an article about the controversy surrounding Facebook’s early days.
There was this lede ‘graph in the N.Y. Times this week:
Social networking Web sites can seem dedicated to the idea that nobody’s personal life is worth keeping private, but when it comes to Mark Zuckerberg — the founder of Facebook, one of the largest networks — Facebook disagrees.
These days any mention of “Facebook” and “privacy” equals bad press for the upstart.
In a news cycle where the social network is getting hit with anti-privacy charges, the 021438 magazine flap was another untimely hit for Facebook, which likened the magazine posting to mudslinging. (Facebook has Outcast Communications on the payroll.)
Things seem to have taken a bad PR turn for Facebook after its market valuation hit $15B, sparked by Microsoft staking a claim in late October. That pump-up put a big target on the company and Zuckerberg and Facebook responded with a rocky roll-out of its “revolutionary” ad platform Beacon in early November.
Notably, Zuckerberg apologized and adapted last year when Facebook unleashed a news feed service that reported the goings-on of members and their friends.
Robert Scoble wants to know where Zuckerberg is now:
Yet when I look at TechMeme I don’t see ONE SINGLE INTERVIEW that Mark Zuckerberg, or top executives at Facebook, have given ANYONE. Hell, don’t like me or other bloggers? Then give a press conference with professional press. ANYTHING would be better than the way that Facebook is handling this. Is it arrogance, botched PR?
Brian Solis had this observation:
Facebook is a hot startup, but it’s just that, a hot startup. It is not an institution, yet the company’s business and marketing swagger is reminiscent of profitable and proven companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple. Its branding might as well be, Facebook, we’re better than you.
And the backlash against Beacon isn’t just coming from users. Advertisers Coca-Cola and Overstock are bailing, and Travelocity is thinking about it, according to Techcrunch.
That’s a bona fide crisis for a company worth $15M, let alone $15 billion. Your move, Mark.
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