Facebook and Twitter – Powerful Enough To Start A Revolution

March 14, 2012

How powerful are Facebook and Twitter?

Powerful enough to start a revolution.

At least, that’s what people have said when describing the Egyptian revolution in 2011.

After the death of Khaled Said, a 28-year-old Egyptian who was reportedly beat to death by Egyptian police, a Facebook page called “We Are All Khaled Said” was created to call attention to the corruption of the Egyptian government and the wrongful death of Said.

The group called for a mass protest on January 25, 2011 – National Police Day. Little did people know that this would be the beginning of a two-week revolution that would result in the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

But the question remained – who was the person, or people, behind the Facebook group that proved to be so instrumental in this revolution?

That person would be Wael Ghonim, an Egyptian who started the group after seeing a photo of a deceased Said. Ghonim managed to stay anonymous until Jan. 28, when he accidently changed an event time on the group’s page from his personal Facebook account.

“I basically thought that my anonymity was my power, was the reason this page was so powerful,” Ghonim said, in an interview with NPR. “A lot of people believed in what was there.”

After his capture by Egyptian police, Ghonim was held for 11 days and interrogated. He was believed to have been working for a foreign government and was deemed a traitor.

Ghonim’s release on Feb. 8 was seen as a key moment in the Egyptian revolution, according to NPR.

Since his release, Ghonim has written a book, Revolution 2.0, which describes his personal timeline of events and what life has been like since Mubarak’s resignation. He also describes the power of social media and how he used them as “tools” to bring vision to his cause.

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Facebook Goes Public: Should We Care?

February 14, 2012

On February 1, Facebook filed to go public. The company hopes to raise $5 billion, which would be nearly three times larger than Google’s 2004 IPO, which set a record by raising $1.7 billion.

Facebook is expected to go public in May and, according to USA Today, it will make billionaire owner Mark Zuckerberg even richer. Zuckerberg, who, according to the article made $1.49 million in 2011, will opt for only a $1 salary in 2013.

What is the reason for such a low salary? Facebook being made public will make Zuckerberg’s, who owns 28.4% of Facebook shares, personal worth $24 billion.

Other than the fact you can buy a share of the world’s most powerful website, should you care about Facebook going public?

Molly Wood, an executive editor at CNET, warns people to stay away from buying shares of Facebook. According to Wood, while she still believes the company will continue to be successful, she doesn’t see enough growth in the future to make the investment – which she believes will be expensive – worthwhile.

On the other end of the spectrum, Investment News reports that if Facebook finds success, other IPOs could benefit greatly and 2012 could become a banner year for companies that decide to go public.

In the end, Facebook going public will not have any effect on most of our lives – except for those of you that choose to buy shares.