The Big Blue Hype

zuckerberg-superbowlType-in the keywords “Facebook IPO” and you’ll get a startling result: about 40,900,000 results on and about 1,190,000,000 results on

Am I reading that number right? 1-billion 190-million results returned by

I don’t get it. What’s going on here? Do Canadians care more about the Facebook IPO than Americans? Interestingly, switching over to yields about 1,100,000,000 results —90 million results less than Canada. Google’s search algorithms must have a reason. Maybe IP address and query location have something to do with the result.

Regardless of where you live, two of the biggest stories circulating the Web this past week haven’t been the latest US/Canadian employment numbers or the fact that it’s snowing in Rome. Really? No. The biggest stories, at least here on North American soil, seem to be everything (and anything) related to the hype surrounding Super Bowl XLVI and the forthcoming Facebook IPO. Both are huge, highly anticipated events generating an endless (read: endless) amount of speculation and analysis—a.k.a. Internet buzz., long known for their in-depth coverage of Facebook, may as well create a permanent Facebook IPO button on their main site navigation to house the reams of articles written on this topic. Oh wait, they already did—it’s on the right-hand side in the ‘Featured’ nav bar.

The other big event, the Super Bowl, has easily become the most watched sporting event in America in recent years with well over 111 million viewers in 2011 (Super Bowl XLV). This year potentially hundreds of millions more will tune-in as the NFL has announced a full streaming broadcast of the game will be available on the Web for the first time.
If you’re really only interested in seeing the high budget American Ads, they’ll be going up in sequence on a dedicated YouTube channel throughout the game. Oh joy. Take that CRTC!

While this is happening you might want to check in on the latest Facebook IPO news. But wading through the staggering number of stories published around the clock would be a futile exercise in information overload.

One of the emerging stories worth a read though, the Facebook IPO will create at least a thousand new millionaires. That’s close to 1/3 Facebook’s employees entering the exclusive 1-percent segment of the population. As the monetization of the world’s largest social network accelerates, in a rapid twist of fate, Occupy Movement organizers may eventually seek an alternative platform for mobilizing people and staging protests. In becoming one of the world’s largest publicly traded companies, profits and shareholder interests may soon begin to overshadow Facebook’s ethos: “…to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” A company employing 1000+ millionaires—Mark Zuckerberg himself a billionaire several times over—could potentially dog Facebook in the future and come to symbolize the growing inequality between rich and poor.
Let’s hope Zuckerberg and company become bigger philanthropists than Steve Jobs was during his tenure at Apple, once the money starts rolling in of course.
Facebook founders and majority stakeholders take note: Bill and Melinda Gates have effectively set the bar in this regard.