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Monday, May 21, 2012

WND column

The Naked Economy

Facebook represents the ultimate test of two ideas. The first is that traffic once attracted, can successfully be monetized. Facebook is presently earning only $4 per user per year. Its investors are gambling that it can increase annual revenue per user before its users get bored and begin to fade away. The second is that there is real value created in passing personal information back and forth between people. It is the second idea that is the more troubling one. While I personally doubt that Facebook, which in my opinion has a dreadful interface, poor performance and a reprehensible privacy policy, can increase its user revenue faster than it loses users, the ultimate fate of Facebook doesn’t really matter to anyone but its investors and those who were hoping its IPO would somehow magically reinvigorate the stock markets. The second issue is the much larger one, because it calls into serious question the direction in which the U.S. economy has been heading for the last 30 years.

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