Was it just yesterday I went off on Rant 13B at lunch? That is, Why The Hell Is Facebook Worth $96 Billion? Probably. I deliver it roughly every other week. I don’t get it — a few ads on the sidebar for weight loss? How does it add up?
The only thing I can figure is, the data and privacy and all the rest of it we share with them, so willingly and unthinkingly, is worth a lot. A LOT.
Over time, I’ve been trimming my Facebook apps to the bare minimum I need to interact with people I want to interact with. I’ve had to resist stuff like Words With Friends, but given my problems resisting crap like Angry Birds, that’s probably a pretty good thing. But by doing so, I’ve been spared the mortifying — to me, anyway — updates I get on what everybody’s reading, delivered via “social reader” apps. Did I need to know my friend’s wife has a fondness for Kardashian news? No. Did Famous Journalist really check out a story about Kate Upton’s breasts? Shudder.
Still, there’s a sense, every time I run through my news feed, that I’m selling all my information short.
So it’s with joy, real joy, that I read that social readers are collapsing — the Washington Post’s, but also the Guardian’s and others. There’s a nominal explanation from the WashPost, something about Facebook modules, whatever they are, and I guess it’s plausible. But I can’t help but hope there’s something to it. I love the WashPost like few other newspapers– er, “content providers,” but there has to be a limit. I’ll register at their site, and they can presumably track what I’m reading there, but Mark Zuckerberg can kiss my bum. From casual observation, my opinion isn’t a minority view.
Sharing is one thing. Window-peeping is quite another.
Social media is essential for journalists, but man, I wish it weren’t.
Any “Mad Men” fans in da house? Of course there are. Any guesses as to what it cost to land the rights to “Tomorrow Never Knows” for last night’s episode? (And may I just say, what a great choice. My favorite on “Revolver,” and I didn’t know until today that the things that sound like seagulls in the first few seconds are actually tape squeals. Learn something new every day, etc.) A quarter-mil. Yikes.
We have a local story unfolding here, yet more of the endless corruption shenanigans in local government. Long story short: An overpaid county development officer left her job last fall, willingly, pocketing a year’s salary as severance, which would merely be wrong and appalling, except that the county is bankrupt and laying off less fortunate employees. A few raised a stink, which became a big stink, and throughout it all, this particular development officer has stuck her elegant nose in the air and refused to apologize for any of it, other than to say she deserved every penny because she worked so hard.
Over the weekend the Freep broke a story about some of the outside jobs she held, for alleged nonprofits that existed mainly to guide even more dollars into her overflowing pockets:
Turkia Awada Mullin had only one Cadillac, but she had two monthly car allowances to pay for it.
One was for $500 from her $200,000-a-year job as chief development officer of Wayne County. The other was for $500 or $600 — she couldn’t quite remember — paid by the Wayne County Regional Jobs and Economic Growth Foundation, one of several nonprofit groups Mullin headed in addition to her county job.
Did she really need $1,000 a month to run her car? Mullin was asked last month.
“I think it’s more than that with the mileage I put on it,” she said.
Poor, poor, greedy, greedy baby.
The tower of Monday has been scaled. Let’s hope the rest of the week goes more smoothly.