What exactly does Mark Zuckerberg Own and is He really as Powerful as we think He is?

Hello there La Vida New Media Enthusiasts, hope this Tuesday finds you well. In the spirit of relating this week’s new media question back to our #emac6300 class readings I am daring to enter the Facebook domain, analyze CEO Mark Zuckerberg and ask the tough questions. WARNING: This Blog Post May Require 2 Advil Gel Caplets. It’s about to get deep.

This week’s reading materials open a discussion about how models of ownership are changing and evolving in regards to the bevy of information now readily available in the public domain. Any person with Internet access can search for terms like ‘credit history+their name’ and within seconds a slew of reports pop up on Google. Who owns this information? The individual? The Government? The Credit Bureau marketing their services? It’s not entirely clear, but that’s not even half the issue. One cannot address means of ownership without also considering the factor of ‘Power’. These two issues naturally coincide and make issues surrounding ‘Net Neutrality’ even more complex.

After compiling the 2010 Forbes ‘“World’s 100 Most Powerful Women List” journalist Mary Ellen Egan posted a blog entitled Rethinking Power and asked readers to submit feedback regarding this year’s list, what power means to them and how does one accurately measure influence. The blog makes an excellent point…

“This year, when I was charged with restructuring our “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list, I had to reexamine the notion of power. In the past, power was very much tied to title and wealth.  But today, thanks to the Internet and Social Networks, you don’t have to be rich or important to reach a mass audience. So Lady Gaga, who has 6.5 million Twitter followers, has her own sphere of influence. But it’s a very different one than say, Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany and the only female head of a G8 economy. Putting this list together has been an interesting exercise in thinking about power and how it’s measured. Did we succeed? Did we fail? I’m interested to hear your thoughts, complaints, or faint praise.”

After reading this post a million thoughts flooded my conscious and I needed to step back so that I could accurately reflect about how this relates to the Facebook King himself, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg.

My skepticism towards Facebook’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s perceived values only increased after watching The Social Network (a documentary film about Facebook’s conception based on the best selling novel Accidental Billionaires written by Ben Mezrich) earlier this month. As a New Media Enthusiast/Investigative Social Media Reporter I still find it hard to believe that economists have put a $25 Billion dollar value on Facebook. Sure there is Ad Revenue, global influence, and an invaluable vault of web traffic statistics and consumer demographics companies would sell their children for, but does Mark Zuckerberg really own as much information as we think he does? And more importantly because he (rather his company) perceivably owns this wealth of information, does a vast amount of power come with ownership?  I have to say, there’s a stout amount of evidence which leads to answer a cautious, resounding yes.

However on the other side of the equation, a significantly large audience still doubts that Facebook dictates the amount of influence it reportedly has for a variety of reasons. As frivolous as their reasons may be (Zuckerberg’s too young, There is no way it’s possible, etc.) these lingering doubts provide evidence that the battle is still being fought and people are still hesitant about the information ownership issues Zuckerberg controls. The below graphic, compliments of valleywag.gawker.com made me laugh outloud:

So weigh in readers and let me know your thoughts. What exactly do you think Mark Zuckerberg owns? Is he really as powerful as we think he is? If you wanted to own Facebook tomorrow, how much would you shell out? The questions are there, I look to you for potential answers/feedback.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kknight08
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 13:24:04

    Good questions about Zuckerberg though I’m not sure I understand the connection to the list of powerful women?

  2. wordtoyourmedia
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 19:43:14

    I’m in total agreement with everything in this article.

  3. missnesbitpro
    Nov 04, 2010 @ 14:35:49

    Ummm you can google your name and credit score and it’ll come up with something???? Whaaat??? How accurate is that?

    Ok, moving on… you bring up some interesting questions about Zuckerberg, but I think that as big as Facebook has gotten, his ultimate power has been delegated to many people. I think he still has the final say on what does and doesn’t become a part of Facebook, but I’m not sure that all the power on what comes up lies with him.

  4. Gregory Dingillo
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 02:25:32

    Whether you are familiar with Mark Zuckerberg depends to a considerable extent on your age and Internet savvy. The greater the one, the less the other, the more this soon to be iconic name will be unknown… and that, of course, means you’re the oldest of fogies… and must instantly make amends. I intend to make that very easy for you.Zuckerberg was born on May 14, 1984 in a “Leave It to Beaver” town with the quintessential name of Dobbs Ferry, New York. His life consisted of the very best and most appealing of what suburban life in the Great Republic offers; his father a dentist, his mother (before the birth of her four children), a psychiatrist. His was a loving, close-knit family that valued the most important thing of all: education, and made sure Mark got the best.”

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