And The Social Media 'Bacon Number' Goes To Mark Zuckerberg?
With one's share value tanking to half its original IPO value, Mark Zuckerberg's been in an ongoing crisis management mode for months now. Acccepting every speaking engagement offered, ironically he spoke at TechCrunch's Disrupt Conference on the same date Apple's stock escalated to an all-time high of $660.97.
He's also been leaning in the social media space on Silicon Valley cohorts like Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn to help plead his case. Still bullish on Facebook, Hoffman told interviewer Michael Arrington that despite the highly publicized doomsday reports regarding Facebook's plummeting stock price, he thinks the company's fundamentals are strong and that it could well rebound. "I'm a big believer in Facebook's long-term position," he said. "The question is how it plays out over next year," stated Hoffman at the same TechCrunch conference.
Hoffman might be biased however. As one of the original members of the so-called "PayPal Mafia" - he is said to have arranged the first meeting between the Facebook CEO and Peter Thiel, the social network's first outside investor (who by the way, has sold the majority of his FB shares most recently).
Hoffman, on the other hand is holding on to his FB stocks. He is said to still own hundreds of millions of dollars of Facebook stock in addition to being a Zynga board member, one of Facebook's most lucrative revenue generators. In the graphic novel, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks," this is graphically lampooned as the "automation of time wasting."
In tandem, or perhaps as result of some of these events, many are categorizing Facebook's stock debacle as the tipping point for the "death of social." Still unable to launch a viable mobile strategy and unwilling to produce a tangible product such as an iPhone or geolocation device, this social media rockstar is confounded as to what should be his next move.
While many feel he needs to attach himself to something that will distinguish himself from the Silicon Valley pack, surprisingly enough, Google might have unwittingly come up with the answer.
Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon was a short-lived late-1990s fad which sprang from the notion that anyone in Hollywood was no more than six connections removed from sharing a credit with actor Kevin Bacon.The creators of the game, college buddies Craig Fass, Brian Turtle and Mike Ginelli, had their moment of fame, promoted the game and it thrived for a bit before fading quickly into obscurity.
However, just this week, Google might have pumped some new life back into that old meme with the "Bacon Number." To find it, simple type "bacon number" (no quotes) into Google's search bar, followed by the name of an actor or actress. The results will give you that performer's Bacon Number.
Now, what does this have to do with Mark Zuckerberg. Well, oddly enough, if you type into search the keywords "bacon number" with "mark zuckerberg," you will note that Facebook's founder is only "4 degrees of separation" from the famous actor --- finally allotting Zuckerberg something to distinguish himself from others in the social media space, and achieving for the first time what Zuckerberg has sought most of his life - the "cool factor."
And while Zuckerberg was portrayed in last year's awarding-winning movie, "Social Network" movie, -- who knew that he actually starred in a flick?
Often seen as an 'outsider on the inside,' Zuckerberg was further satirized in FB&DF as not even being welcomed at a poker game with the likes of Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Steve Jobs.
So, is the "Bacon Number" enough ammo for Zuckerberg to prove to the world that he's still relevant? Well, not really. Upon further research, while Gates, Brin and Page don't have a "Bacon Number," I soon learned that Steve Jobs has earned a Kevin Bacon degree ranking posthumously, and he beat Zuckerberg hands down by coming it at only "2 degrees of separation." Seems like in addition to maintaining it's "cool factor," the empire Jobs built will not only stand the test of time, but will outshine Facebook on the stock exchange for years to come as well. Sorry Zuck, no cigar here!