Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Baby, You're a Rich Man
Saw The Social Network, aka The Facebook Movie. It was fantastic. Mark Zuckerberg, if you’re reading this: It was your idea. You adapted bits of it from other peoples’ ideas, but as you (or your fictional, movie self) put it during one of your court cases, ‘If you had invented Facebook, you would have invented Facebook.’ I did a little idle facebooking and found to my fascination that Cameron Winklevoss (one of the Olympic rowing twins who sued Zuckerberg) is on Facebook. Further searching revealed that ‘Cameron Winklevoss does not have any friends named Mark Zuckerberg.’ Probably not surprising.
It’s hard to believe that Facebook was only invented in 2003. There are now half a billion people on it (this probably includes pets, but it’s still not too far off a tenth of the world’s population). There are people whose main form of communication with their friends is via Facebook. It’s almost as if he invented the phone or the telegram. I can remember when it first exploded: it was in 2006. I had heard of it sporadically through academic friends: then I heard it was being opened up to the wider world: then within a few weeks, suddenly everybody was talking about it.
One of the cleverest scenes in the film is at the end, when Zuckerberg sends a friend request to the ex-girlfriend he trashed on the internet in 2003. As he hits refresh on her page over and over, a Beatles song plays – interesting, as The Beatles rarely let their music be used in films or ads. The song is 'Baby You’re A Rich Man': a subtler choice than the other one they could have gone for, 'Money Can’t Buy Me Love'.