In the News: The Facebook IPO

It is no secret that Facebook has quickly become one of the most influential companies of the 21st Century.  On February 1, 2012, the social networking site officially filed for an initial public offering, which has become one of the most buzzed about IPOs since Google’s public debut in 2004.  An initial public offering (IPO) occurs when a company first sells its stock to the public.  Facebook’s IPO has sparked much speculation and analysis of what the IPO will mean for potential investors, competitors, and the company itself.  Regardless of whether or not the Facebook IPO proves to be a successful endeavor, it is apparent that social networking is not just a passing trend and other social media companies will be watching closely to see how Facebook fares after the initial hype dies down. What follows are several excellent sources for in-depth information on the Facebook IPO.

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NEW!  Inside Facebook

Inside Facebook is an independent news source that is part of the Inside Network company.  The site provides “news and analysis on Facebook’s global growth, corporate developments, and product innovations” and also reports on trends that appear on Facebook.

NEW!  BusinessInsider

This BusinessInsider page offers a complete breakdown of the important facets of the Facebook IPO.  BusinessInsider offers news about current business information in the media, technology, financial, and other industry sectors.

NEW!  Mashable page

This page aggregates news related to the Facebook IPO, complete with Mashable analysis. Mashable’s “About Us” page describes the company as “the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology.”

DealBook: Tracking Facebook’s Valuation (find it on ipl2)

Provides an easy to read timeline of Facebook’s increasing valuation from 2004 to January of 2011.  DealBook provides financial news and analysis covering mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, initial public offerings (IPOs), private equity, hedge funds, venture capital, legal matters, and related topics. From the website of The New York Times.

CrunchBase (find it on ipl2)

Want to know about Facebook, Twitter or Steve Jobs? “CrunchBase is the free database of technology companies, people, and investors that anyone can edit.”

TechEye (find it on ipl2)

British online magazine offering a wealth of technology news stories, editorials by technology writers, and current events stories involving technology.

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In the News: Social Media as a Force in Social Movements

The recent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East have been fueled by news and other communications relayed through the Internet in general and new social media such as Facebook and Twitter in particular.  Iran has restricted access to Facebook and Libya reportedly cut off Internet access intermittently (perhaps following a precedent set in Egypt), which was seen as a means of eliminating communication between protesters and the outside world.

Some critics have said that the role of social media has been overplayed and that the movements arose from longer-term social forces.  Yet one cannot deny that social media have played a major role in the events now shaking Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Syria, Bahrain, Iran, Yemen, and Libya.  Read more about these events below.

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NEW! How Cyber-Pragmatism Brought Down Mubarak

This article in The Nation describes how “cyber-pragmatism,” or dissemination of historical examples of nonviolent social activists such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King and organization of protests, through social media influenced the revolt in Egypt.

NEW! Facebook Officials Keep Quiet on Its Role in Revolts

Despite the major role played by social networks, particularly Facebook, in the revolts rocking North Africa and the Middle East, Facebook officials are trying to stay silent on the matter.  This article details Facebook’s desire to remain neutral so as not to alienate countries where it has just gained a foothold, and its determination to continue its policy of requiring users to sign up with their real names—a policy that has been criticized for possibly putting dissenters at risk—though it has assisted Tunisian protesters in their efforts to block government attempts to access their passwords.  The article also describes how other social media, such as Twitter and YouTube, have been more vocal in their support for the movements and even have taken initiatives to assist protesters.

NEW! The Twitter Revolution Debate Is Dead

This article from The Atlantic discusses how the argument that social media singlehandedly cause social movements that lead to revolution is passé and notes that authoritarian governments also can use technology to further their own goals, but points out that perhaps the most exciting development is that political pundits are now discussing the structure of revolutions and the role of technology in furthering them or subduing them.

NEW! All Eyes Turn To Internet In Libya, Bahrain

As part of efforts to stem growing protests, Libya apparently cut off access to the Internet at the end of last week.  Internet access was restored, but was intermittent over the weekend.  This article points out that the outages could have been caused by power failures and the relatively small number of Internet service providers in the country, but also describes how many believe that Internet access was deliberately shut down.

Thank you for checking in.  The teams at the ipl2 hope you find this information useful for learning more about social media as a force in social movements.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


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