Facebook links

Two interesting links on facebook. One on its hyped valuation and second on usage of facebook to improve governance.

  • Gulzar has this superb post on Facebook’s valuation of USD 50 billion. He calls it intriguing, I call it appalling. No lessons are learnt. Valuations keep going berserk. Forget remembering the lessons of 2001 dot com valuations we have just forgotten the lessons of hyped valuations of everything in 2007 crisis. Someone rightly said in 2010 – For Wall Streeters 2007-8 is like ages ago.
  • PSD Blog points to an usage of facebook for improving governance. In the most unlikeliest of states and cities,  high-ranking government official believes facebook could become a powerful tool for the public for accessing government officials. The state is Uttar Pradesh and city is Kanpur. HT reports:

The District Magistrate of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday asked senior government officials to join popular networking site, Facebook so that they are easily accessible to public. Mukesh Meshram directed Additional District Magistrates, Sub-Divisional Magistrates and Additional City Magistrates to join Facebook after opening an account on the site on behalf of the Kanpur District Administration.

“I have clearly conveyed my instructions to all the senior officials of the district administration to open an individual account at the earliest and then join the account that I have created in the name of Kanpur District Administration,” Meshram said. “I believe the move will not only help the public, but will also serve as an efficient communication medium among officials of the government departments.” “On one hand, the public will get easy access to officials for airing their grievances, at the same time we would also be able to track the activities being undertaken by different government agencies so that the officials from various departments can co-ordinate to achieve the ultimate goal of serving the public,” he said.

In the first phase, the district administration officials will join Facebook and later officials from government hospitals, civic agencies and urban development departments will create their accounts. “From complaints related to poor roads, improper sanitation, garbage disposal and other civic problems, all can be posted on the account. Depending upon the nature of the complaints, they will be sorted and then forwarded to the department concerned,” said Meshram.

“The officials of a particular department will also be required to update the district administration by sending alerts on the account of the Kanpur district administration. This would surely be liked by the public as they would also be able to track their complaints. In simpler terms, it would facilitate transparency in the functioning of government officials,” he said. 

Interesting application. Theer should be proper testing and evaluation of this proposal.

Whether it is dot-com, microfinance or social networking. After seeing some usage, there is a mad rush by PE which raises valuations and hypes the whole sector. And then there is some happy realisation laters but it is too late. Most PEs have already cashed and made money leaving the dud investment to others…


Simon Johnson says – Why Are Taxpayers Subsidizing Facebook, and the Next Bubble?

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