The Google LoveRank, Failure, Will Facebook Fade, and What We Can Learn From Orphans

(Part II of my Twitter Q&A this week. I hope you like them. If you do, please “Facebook Like” so that I get a sense of the interest in this type of post. Here is Part 1. )

The GOOGLE LOVE RANK (patent pending)

@EdGallois: If you Syndicate original content google might get upset Or should one re-write? Google is no fan of duplicate content it seems…


Google is MY BITCH! It’s a tool. I type in “Azaelia Banks” and I expect to get lyrics, music, videos, photos and, because Google is so great I also expect to find out if I’m spelling her name wrong and maybe even where she lives.

If I live my life according to how Google ranks me then I am rank.

Do not worry about SEO for your blog. That is last on the list of things I worry about. That said, I am about to give you my patented formula for having the most followers to your blog:

Google works on their patented “PageRank”. If a page has a lot of links going to it then it has a higher pagerank. And if the pages that link to you already have a high pagerank, then your pagerank goes even higher.

So let me give you a fool proof method for having high SEO and it works for other things also.

It’s called the LoveRank (TM) – patent pending.

The more people who love you, the higher your LoveRank. And the higher the LoveRank is of the people who love you then your LoveRank goes even higher.

If you have a high LoveRank there are many many advantages. For one thing, your Google PageRank will be trivially high. You don’t even have to think of it anymore. And the other advantages…you’ll find out quickly what they are.

How do you increase then your loverank? Just be nice to people and be honest with them. It’s really easy and it’s not corny. Try it.


Daniel Leslie ‏ @dan_leslie: For how many more years will facebook be the dominant social network until something else replaces it?


Great question. Let’s look at the history. Lycos bought Tripod (the first social network) for about $50 million. Yahoo bought Geocities for about $3 billion. Then there was Friendster (used to be big everywhere, now big in the Phillipines). Then MySpace (bought by NewsCorp for $500 million), then Bebo (bought by AOL for a billion or so, sold by AOL for $10 million), Orkut (owned by Google and big, in of all places, Brazil) and then finally there is Facebook but there’s also Twitter and Google+ nipping at its heels. There’s also various niche social networks.

(Tila Tequila had the most followers on MySpace)

Facebook has 900mm users and is in every country in the world. No other network came even close to that in size and reach. Facebook has a great API to interface with games and other apps. They are the largest photo-sharing network in the world. They are basically the largest dating site in the world. Companies no longer put their website URLs on commercials- they put the URL of their Facebook pages.

And Facebook is just beginning. I’m 44 years old. When I’m 104 years old I’ll still be using Facebook every day.


J. Sanudo ‏ @JSanudo: How would you change the US criminal justice system?


Every organization builds its culture from the top down. If the CEO is a jerk then everyone in the company will begin to feel anxious, paranoid, hateful, gossipy, etc.

The top of the US criminal justice system is the US Constitution. Unfortunately, every Article and Amendment in the Constitution has been broken and abused by our judicial system. Without exception. So the top of our system is completely broken.

So there’s two solutions: top down and bottom up:

– Top down, we need a new Constitutional Convention. What worked in the 1780s might not be appropriate now. It’s worth once in awhile thinking about this. We also have to wonder why the Constitution has been so badly broken over the years and come up with better checks and balances. New technologies allow us to do that.

– Bottom up, a society is made up of individuals. As the individuals seek to improve themselves and their psychologies, society itself will improve. Again, it doesn’t matter to what extent you do that but even the barest paying of attention to improvement physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually each day will do that. The better people are, the less attention will be needed for our US criminal justice system.



Alex Bakula-Davis ‏ @AlexBakulaDavis: Hypothetically if 2day you’re responsibilities were frozen (work, family,friends) and u had the day 2 yourself, what would u do?


I would be totally silent for the entire day. Too many people want to talk all day. Here’s “10 Reasons Why You Want to Talk Right Now”

Talking is an addiction. Like sugar. We get instant feedback. We get stimulated. And then when we stop talking we feel a little bit of a lull. A down.

I wish I had more opportunities to just be quiet. Not even with my mouth but my head. Sometimes I feel my mind runs away too fast into too many directions that it has no business. But if my mouth can’t keep shut how can my mind keep shut. So first step is to just be quiet. That’s what I would do with my free time if I had a day to myself.



Ben Nesvig ‏ @BenNesvig: Worked at a start-up that failed. Good or bad idea to write a book about the experience and everything we did wrong/learned?


There’s been lots of books about startups that have failed. As an agent once told me (in 2001), nobody wants to read about failure.

That’s not always true. (Sam Lipsyte has a fun book, “The Ask” which is a novel about a failed startup).

That said, make sure you have an interesting twist on it. Like, maybe the failure is the result of a series of bad sexual encounters between various interlockings of employees.

I know you know how to do it.



Claudia Azula ‏ @ClaudiaYoga: What is your favorite and least favorite yoga asana?


I am, of course, not a yoga expert.

So this applies to me personally.

But I like the first move in most Yoga series. The Sun Salutation. It’s divided into several steps. The first step stretches your body higher. Then you bend down and stretch to touch your toes. Then you jump back and do a pushup. Then you stretch your back. Then you roughly stretch your toes again and take five deep breaths (as I’ve been taught it).

In other words, you stretch many muscles in your body, you get some strength exercise, AND you control your breath. All day long your mind is going wild and that lets your breath go wild. But if you have to actually think about your breath for a few minutes a day then that prevents your mind from going wild.

(Claudia in the middle of the sun salutation)

The sun salutation is like “the egg” of yoga. An egg is often considered the simplest full meal. Let’s say you do 6-10 sun salutations. That right there is like a mini-workout. You’ll probably be tired and sweating, would’ve stretched quite a bit and would’ve have exercised your muscles. It’s not a full workout but for someone who doesn’t exercise it will be hard.

My least favorite (other than the ones I completely cannot do) is the headstand. How come? Because I get afraid to be upside down. I can only do it if someone is holding me up. Unlike Claudia who can do the headstand then after 20 counts bring her legs slowly perpendicular to the head stand and remain there another 20 counts, then get into a lotus position upside down and who knows what else.

But here’s an interesting thing about the head stand I just learned. We all know that as we age our muscles sag. You can see it on your face, stomach, etc. But you can’t see it on the muscles inside your body, like the heart muscles. But they sag too and the sagging causes heart disease and other problems with circulation.

So moves like the head stand (and the shoulder stand) are very important because they move your vital organs back in place and help to reverse the effects of this internal sagging. And again, more opportunities to control your mind over your breath (not so easy to breathe upside down).

If any yoga experts want to add to this, please do so. I would love to know other people’s favorite and least favorite positions.



Zac Stewart ‏ @zacstewart:How do you find meaning in what you do once you realize you’ll never be a war-hero-tycoon-einstien-conquistador-space-doctor?


In other words, can life have meaning in mediocrity. Even worse, what if you are bad at most things instead of being great at things. Then you might think your life might really suck.

There is nothing wrong with seeking greatness. Nor is there anything wrong with not achieving it.

Between the banks of greatness and mediocrity the entire river of life flows. It’s only when you get stuck on the muddy banks that life becomes unpleasant. That you become mired down.

If you flow with the river, you accept whatever comes. You don’t have to be great. And its not bad to suck at something. Most of life is not under our control. Accepting life as it is leads to great happiness. And even those moments of greatness are only fleeting and are often accompanied by great suffering.

100 years from now none of us will have a building named after us. So it’s important right now to just swim in the river, back and forth, and accept where it takes us. Maybe we are curious about something we see. Swim there! And then swim somewhere else. Accept where you are.

Sometimes gold is turned into fancy bracelets and necklaces and other ornaments. And sometimes gold is just gold dust. But it still has the same value. It’s still gold no matter what. You are gold.


(was he really that special?)



RobNonStop ‏ @RobNonS: Many successful/powerful people in history are orphans. Why? What can non-orphans conclude/learn/apply from this fact?


There’s the fake world and the real world. The fake world is the world where we we’re nice diapers until we finish college, graduate school, internships, “startups”, our first divorce, etc. I admit it. I peed in my pants and needed diapers until I was in my 30s. I still occasionally do.

Then there’s the real world. Where you are the young Bruce Wayne. Your parents are shot and killed right in front of you. So you buy a trapeze and a set of weights with your billions and you start training yourself at an early age. And you start building weird gasses for utility belt. And you learn more about the ugliness of the world and the people who will want to harm you. And every day you work out and prepare yourself for the battles you know that will come your way.

You get a 20 year head start on the people who are still peeing in their pants in their 30s.

I don’t know if orphans are more successful or not. But “dropping out” of the fake world as early as possible and training to become Batman will make you more than human. Will make you a superhero. And only then can you save lives.


(the two most successful orphans in history)


Tanvi Surti ‏ @tanvisurti: Do you find all the startup tips and advice out there irritating and counterproductive sometimes?


Yes, Yes, yes. I mentioned this last week: there is NO SUCH THING as the word “STARTUP”.

If I open a deli at the corner is that a startup? What if I then have a facebook fan page? Does that make it a startup? What if I sell things online and then use a recommendation engine for other things you might like at my deli? Now can I go to a “Tech Meetup”? What if I give badges to all the people who “Check in” to my deli. And then I offer “flash group discounts” on my facebook fan page for everyone who orders Crest toothpaste at my deli within the next five minutes. Am I now a startup?

(typical male:female ratio at a tech meetup)

Do I need a CTO for my deli? Or a CMO? What will MAKE ME COOL! When will I finally get invited to startup parties with 5000 guys and 15 girls. I’m sorry, girls, I’m even in mentor programs for women entrepreneurs. We need MORE THAN 15 OF YOU at Tech Meetups.

Finally, my deli needs a Klout score if it’s going to be a startup. And I need to stream news about other delis onto my facebook fan page and use twuffer to schedule my regular tweets about my flash group discounts on Nabisco crackers. I am going to have the COOLEST STARTUP at the tech meetups with my deli.

Or I can just quietly build a business that supplies a good or service that people really really need and plow my profits back into building more of those goods and sell to more people and get bigger and bigger. Then I can use the profits to borrow money from a bank so I can build goods faster and sell more. Then I can repeat that until I’m really big, I’m helping a lot of people make their lives better, and I’m getting rich.

That’s called BUSINESS.

  • Your analogy of the flowing river is brilliant , it really captured the meaning of acceptance. 

  • Loved the part in the last piece and this one regarding startups and the guy/girl ratio. Funny and true.

  • Seitse

    How is Facebook a dating site? How many people have you met on Facebook? How many of them are located in Turkey? Sweden? Thailand? Do me a favor – go to your beloved Facebook and try to meet somebody from Qatar. I dare you! Most people will F U your letters before you even press SEND. 

    Facebook is only (and only!) about who you know. It’s not about meeting new people. That hardly ever happens on Facebook. Even those you do meet.. they are actually your best friends’ friends (whom you could have met simply by actually showing up to your friends’ birthday party). I know here’s a business idea inside my comment. I know it. For years. Do it!

    •  Well, we can debate about this but I can tell several ways Facebook is a dating site:
      A) my friends friends are all potential dates (I’m married so I’m speaking in general). I’ve seen tihs happen.
      B) people who share similar interests meet each other on Facebook
      C) i often introduce two people on facebook and I’ve seen several relationships develop out of that.
      D) Facebook’s recommendation engine allows me to be friends with people I don’t strictly know.

      These are just a few of the ways Facebook has become the world’s largest dating site and I’ve seen everyone one of the above result in actual dates or relationships.

      • rolex85

         Hey James!

        Most people do not date the friends of their best friends. Why? Because of social issues which come with the friends-of-best-friends relationship. Everyone of us is playing different roles in our one life, and our best friends know an other role of us than the _new_ friend – _especially_ the new potential girl/boyfriend. You act different. “Is James really so cute?”, asks Claudia your best friend. BAD idea. You need to start from zero. Pretending in dating is normal. But you can only pretend IF you start _beyond_ your graph. AND its more funny that way (thats why we date anyway).

        FB will not fail, but FB will get meaningless. The only difference to MySpace is the superb starting position (Harvard etc.). Nowadays its just a trash collector like 4chan. If a cheap app like Instagram can ruin your Business Model, then your pretty much f*cked.

        •  Not sure why this is a debate. I’ve seen this countless times. People do often date the friends of their friends. What else will they do: date the friends of their enemies?

          • rolex85

            Date a blank sheet. No troubles.

            You _can_ use FB as a dating site. You can also use it instead of mail. But is it a dating site or a email alternative? Hell no. Perhaps its ok for low end users. But if you target low end users, everyone can crush you in an instant (instagram lol).

            I will tell you what FB is: A bunch of different features in one place. The place has a value, but the “features” are more and more just thrown together in the hope (!) that people believe that FB is a wonderland, which solves every problem. But its not. A business which wants to solve everything is damned.

          • Seitse

            I guess it’s up to debate whether dating friends friends is a good idea or not. Personally I’ve had experiences with both and I can see more disadvantages in dating a friends friend than advantages. Rolex85 pretty much said it all, but I’d add that if things doesn’t work out with this ”friends’ friend”, then it may end up hurting your relationship with your friend too. It’s not a perfect analogy, but think of it as buying (or selling) a used car. You could buy it from your friend (or you could sell it to your friend), but on most occasions you really prefer not to. Let’s say you sold your friend a car, and it breaks down the day after. What if it was just a coincidence and you really thought the car was in a good shape. Now it gets complicated. Your friend might think you deliberately sold him a crappy car (or you personally might feel bad for it all). But with a stranger, it wouldn’t complicate anything (since there’s no friendship to begin with). So although I’m not talking about a friends friend breaking down, it may not work out for other reasons. 

            As for Facebook, I’m not saying it won’t last (although I’m not yet convinced it’s here to stay). I’m just saying it’s not much of a dating site… other than your friends friends (whom you can’t write directly anyway – unless you want to receive an angry call from your friend saying you’re bothering his friends and; therefore, humiliating him). A dating site is the one where you can type up e-mails to complete strangers and expect to get a reply. And that’s not Facebook! 

          • Whether or not its a good idea, I don’t know. BUT, peopel do use Facebook to do that. 

          • Michael

             i loled.

  • JPD


    Your river analogy reminds me of one of the most powerful things I’ve ever read about life.

    Historian E. H. Gombrich described time most eloquently as a river.
    “But now let us quickly drop down in our plane towards the river.  From close up, we can see it is a real river, with rippling waves like the sea.  A strong wind is blowing and there are little crests of foam on the waves.  Look carefully at the millions of shimmering white bubbles rising and then vanishing with each wave.  Over and over again, new bubbles come to the surface and then vanish in time with the waves.  For a brief instant they are lifted on the wave’s crest and then they sink down and are seen no more.  We are like that.  Each one of us no more than a tiny glimmering thing, a sparkling droplet on the waves of time which flow past beneath us into an unknown misty future.  We leap up, look around us and, before we know it, we vanish again.  We can hardly be seen in the great river of time.  New drops keep rising to the surface.  And what we call our fate is no more than a struggle in that great multitude of droplets in the rise and fall of one wave.  But we must make use of that moment.  It is worth the effort.”
    Love your blog.  It keeps me thinking about entrepreneurship vs. golden handcuffs.JPD

  • TraderGang

    Why is Facebook taking forever to embed audio when any rookie can write the code on their own personal site and include audio media.   Facebook has already phased out but it’s isn’t reflected in the latest numbers.  F**Facebook, a lot of us created pages like that with geocities and angelfire in the late 90s and connections were made through AIM express.

  • murali


    You seem to be internalizing quotes from ‘I am that’. Your thoughts on mediocrity reminded me of this quote: “Between  the banks of pleasure and Pain the river of life flows”-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

    Nice post as usual.

    •  Interesting. I also saw a Wayne Dyer video quoting him.

  • TraderGang

    I use Facebook for the opposite..separate myself from others.  Humans are like snowflakes..each unique in its own way. Facebook allows me to find our differences regarding income, religion, politics, etc. So as the site exposes these identifiers, I sit back I realize that most of ya’ll are overrated.  Me against the world type mindset.  FaceMash was a lot better as it put people back int their place.

  • Michael

     We could make a new constitution. Or we could make a hundred new, better constitutions. None of it will matter so long as we allow whatever is the rule of law to be trampled. The clever part is that nobody would outright trample it; that would cause a riot. They’ll slowly shave off every edge of individual protection.

    As for the bottom up…as Aristotle said (and Emerson eulogized about Thoreau), “One who surpasses his fellow-citizens in virtue is no longer a part of the city. Their law is not for him, since he is a law to

  • Their was a period back in the nineteen fifties when certain companies were immortalized. The so called nifty fifty.. Stocks like eastman kodak for example or sears and general motors just to name a few.. The period today is very similar when stocks like Apple Google and Mcdonald’s and soon to be public company Facebook can do no wrong. Its interesting looking back to these companies and comparing how they were doing back in their heyday with how they are performing today.

  • “And Facebook is just beginning. I’m 44 years old. When I’m 104 years old I’ll still be using Facebook every day.”
    Famous last words right there.

    •  Yes, in 60 years the world will probably look so different that Facebook will be an historical footnote, unless it manages to evolve at the same speed.

      • David

        Precisely.  In the moment it can be difficult to maintain a broad perspective. The internet is a hyper-rapidly changing world within an already rapidly changing real world.  I myself run an internet business that has succeeded beyond any of my wildest expectations over the last 7 years, and while it has already lasted longer than I expected it to, I know that the gravy train will derail in short time, as the world, and the internet changes.  Coca Cola will be here in 50 years, FB will not.  After that, the technological singularity and the evolution of humans into genetically altered cyborgs will render even Coke moot. But of course James was kidding with the 104 year-old comment.  Anyway, the numbers don’t lie, and I’m not talking users, but profit, and FB won’t deliver results to match its hype and the corresponding market valuation it will achieve.  James, and a lot of folk, live in a different world when they think about what business means. Time will shake it out though.  And at that time, no one will have the energy to say “I told you so” because they’ll be devoting that energy to the next hot thang.

        • David

          No one will see this buried post. Facebook went public 10 weeks ago, shortly after this post. Unlike the press, I understand that it was a wildly successful IPO for FB. They did not botch the IPO by any means! But FB is not, as James says, a mini internet. The numbers (profit, not users) will always win, and the market has taken only this ten weeks to already slash the stock in half – not a small deal given a market cap that started around 100 billion. …I know, it’s easy for me to talk now, kick FB while it’s down. It Just might go down more. Maybe. Time will tell, of course.

          • David

            Well, it’s me again, two years later, and I see that James was right. A lot of people laughed at him, when he said years ago that FB is worth 100 Billion. Now it’s closing in on 200 billion! I admit that I was very skeptical. Looks like James knows a thing or two! Hope he’s made some money on FB. I didn’t because I didn’t understand the company or the markets as well as James does, and thus I didn’t invest. I still am skeptical about FB over the very long term. I recently looked at a New Yorker magazine from 1945, and I didn’t recognize a single one of the dozens of companies that posted ads there. But I really don’t have any deep understanding, and for now, FB is an important company.

  • It’s absolutely the case that ranking well in Google is about creating things that people love. That’s the bulk of what I tell people now about SEO (and what I said when I worked for Google and spoke a lot for them about search).

    But from a much more tactical level, it is also true that syndication that leads to duplicate content can be an issue with Google. Google wants to show searchers a variety of results, not the same content multiple times. So if you publish an article on your blog and then also syndicate it so that it’s published elsewhere, Google will only want to show one version of that article to searchers and if you’re first starting out, that version may not be yours — it may be the site that’s been around longer and has accrued more “LoveRank”.

    I wrote a post about this years ago, that is mostly still applicable (the spirit of it anyway).

    The summary is that you may want to go ahead and syndicate because the visibility/traffic from the sites publishing your content may be worth more to you than potential Google traffic (especially early on). Or, you may want to create a summary article for syndication that points to an article with more details on your own site (or part 1 of an article is syndicated, part 2 is on your blog; topic A is syndicated, related topic B on your blog…).

  • Defender66

    Talking about “startups” and social media, I find it interesting how there are people who have blogs, and have nothing to say (usually pop culture drivel) who get moved to the top of the heap of perceived clout (klout – not even sure what it is), by circle jerking each other, and being written about by their other new media friends working for big, mostly NYC based publications. Their social media fame seems quite illusory and manufactured. I have a feeling that the social media circle jerk can only prop up some people for so long unless they have insight, wisdom or wit etc. that actually merits a following. In the end, people like James will continue to have followers, because he is real, and not part of the social media popularity contest. And the same would go for any Internet based “startup” business.

  • nickharley84

    Sorry but I couldn’t agree less about Facebook. Back when I joined up 5 years ago it was a cool place to hangout, all my friends were on there. FB seemed the niche cool place to be for twenty-somethings whilst teenagers were on Bebo you were laughed at if you still used Myspace.

    How times have changed. Firstly my friends and I all hate FB. I left a long time ago and a few friends did too, some are still there but ask them their opinion of FB and they say they hate it. Everyone is just waiting for something new to come along. Something that’s cool. Instagram was getting the till Zucks bought it for silly money. People loved Instagram because it was separate from FB. People don’t want FB anymore. Everyone is ready to leave FB already but has nowhere to go.

    It lost its cool factor as soon as peoples parents joined up. It suddenly became like sitting at a bar with your friends and your mom is at the next table. Suddenly you don’t post freely or be how you normally are with friends, you post less, share less, its not cool anymore so you don’t bother. Anyone over 40 will probably not agree with this, but you guys came to the house party with your oldness. You turned the music down. You’re old, you’re not “cool”. (Think parents at your friends house party)

    FB user figures are severely bloated. 901mm users. Yeah right. I know someone that has about 12 accounts for various business related activity and several people with 2 or more. I had 3, but I closed them all. My mother’s friend has one for her dog. I can’t see Archie the dog clicking on any advertisements for weight loss pills any time soon. How can you value every user at $ x for a valuation. One of my friends said last week he hasn’t posted anything for over a year.

    Contrary to what the media portrays, Facebook is dying. The media is dictated by the same group as those who influence financial markets. Take me. I’m 28, male and all my friends hate FB. I have not yet shaped a career that puts me in an influential position in media or financial markets, not many 28 year olds are media editors or in jobs with influence. Now take Bob, Bob is  52. He worked hard all his life and now he is editor of a big media company. Bob’s just discovered Facebook and his wife also spends every evening curating her farm on FB. So Bob obviously feels Facebook is really popular right now, it’s cool and hip. Every one is on it, let’s report that.Bob’s friend Joe is a stock broker. His wife also spends every evening on FB games. So it must be a great bet right?

    Well, no. History has told us social networks go through cycles. Facebook is already dead to me, I’m sick of it. I’m sick of Zucks and I’m sick of its stupid valuations that get flung around. I wonder how long it is before this 40-60 age group get sick of FB like the youth have (excluding teenagers who have the “new” feeling like the older age group). Eventually you’ll get bored of it. I’d like to see a report done by someone who goes out and canvasses 1000 x 20 to 35 year olds and ask them what they think of FB.

    The Emperor has no clothes. The IPO is an elaborate trick to try and show you this is a great company when it is a sinking ship. The latest profit numbers show the signs of the cracks. These cracks will become chasms. FB will fall very quickly should its users decide to go elsewhere in a heartbeat. Hopefully a place that is not motivated by money alone and can flip Zucks the bird when he offers them a Billion.

    By the way, since I left FB my life has changed 100% for the better. I now send my closest friends cards for their birthdays rather than a FB post on their wall. I catch up with them regularly to hear their news. I feel free. I feel as the world wastes their precious time on FB and I fully recommend deleting your account. There are plenty of other alternatives to keep in touch with people.

    •  The funny thing is, 900mm people disagree with you and your friends. You might be right in the long run but history has never seen one site with 900mm users in every country in the world. Not even Google has that reach.

      • nickharley84

        Well, even though people have accounts they can still dislike it, there is no other option to gain a strong foothold (yet). People are stuck there, afraid they’ll miss out. The internet is filled with articles about Facebook. Read the comments on these articles you see a lot of negativity towards Facebook. It’s only a matter of time till interest tails off.

        FB has 900mm “monthly” active users. 480mm daily users. Impressive I know, but that’s still millions of people hardly using the site. It would be a pretty hard task to re-engage these users to spending more time rather than less time.

        If the world has 3 Billion people connected to the internet, maybe 0.9 Billion agree with you that they want to be on FB? Or maybe 2.1 Billion agree with me that they don’t? (I appreciate in China they don’t get much choice) I know several people who have never joined and never will. So it won’t just continue to grow and grow. As users join others will leave and eventually overall users will start to fall.

        @Defender66:disqus I also know what my family and friends are doing. I call them up, I text them, email them and I go and visit them. You know…… like in real life. Its also free from advertising and I’m in control of my data…. which is a bonus.

        • How can you simultaneously argue that people are stuck there, afraid they’ll miss out AND that usage is falling and interest is waning?

          If people are stuck there, that is excellent for Facebook. The fear of missing out is a powerful one.

          MySpace lacked so much of the functionality that holds people to Facebook. And the functionality is increasing all the time.

          I prefer real life interactions with my friends and family. But if I’m traveling cross country (which I do frequently) I can let everyone know about my progress at once. And if I am looking for something to do on Saturday night I can access dozens of events in one place.

          Facebook is not simply a reincarnation of MySpace. In some instances, the same things that make it “less cool” have also made it more useful.

      • 7tse

        You know, the number of users isn’t really THAT relevant. Every day, more and more people are connected to the WWW for the very first time. So they don’t really count because if they would have began using Internet 5 years ago, they would have joined MySpace or Orkut too. 

        Back in 2000, only about 400 million people used Internet. Five years later, in 2005, 1 billion people were using Internet. Another five years later, in 2010, about 2 million people were Internet users. So it doesn’t really make sense to say ”no other website has had 900mm users” – after all, how could they have? 

        I began using social networks back in 2003 – a FULL YEAR before Facebook was launched (and btw, you couldn’t really join FB back in 2004 yet, unless you went to Harvard or smth). Anyway, back in 2003 they created this social network called Within the first 2 years, the site got 350,000 users (which was 45% of the entire Internet users in Estonia – and just about the same number Facebook has today). It was by far the most visited website in the country. It was then sold (like FB is about to be), and a few more years down the road, it just died! A majority of people moved over to Orkut. And then to Facebook. And then to… I don’t know where they will go, but Facebook too will die. And it will probably die faster than MySpace or Orkut – largely because most people freakin’ hate those stupid Farm-games and other nonsense. I have like a billion invitation to stupid events (yeah, like I could physically go to a party in Australia tomorrow). 

        • Perhaps you should eliminate the games from your feed (extremely simple to do) and not be friends with people who send blanket invites to everyone on their friends list.

          I am ACTAUALLY friends with everyone on my friends list. Weird, I know. The great thing about that is I only get fed information that is relevant to me.

    • Defender66

      FB is here to stay. It keeps people connected. I know what my family and friends are doing. It’s a central online meeting place. Everyone is already there, so no need to go elsewhere. It will become even more relevant when technology progresses and you can “physically” be in a virtual room with people. Grandma would certainly like that, especially when the family is all over the country.

    • Zee

      I totally disagree and here’s why…I used to have a MySpace account, two actually, one for my fashion design portfolio and one for personal use. I had the accounts for a few years and it never once inspired me to put personal pictures of myself and my family up. I never got that “trust” factor out of MySpace. Then I get an email inviting me to Facebook, and I ignored it. Years later I finally gave in and opened a Facebook account. My account was opened Oct. 2011 cheerfully and willingly. AND! not only that but Facebook got me to upload pictures of myself and my family for the first time in my 14 years of using the internet. For me that is record-breaking. What changed this time?
      I have family, living in Spain and Cuba, that are on Facebook. These are family members that log on, put up pictures, talk about their interests and open up. If it wasn’t for Facebook, I would have little REAL-TIME access to them. My mom can’t pick up the phone and call Cuba, but she can go on Facebook and talk to my cousin who has a Facebook account from Cuba. Facebook has created a bridge between people/families in different countries and made communicating easy, even from a communist country! Sometimes I’ll post a wall post and my cousin might “Like” it within seconds! Which gives me a good feeling because I know she’s online too. Facebook gives me that “trust” factor and that’s the reason I have willingly opened up for the first time, online. Facebook has taken this all in to consideration and it shows. They’ve done an excellent job at keeping the website clean and professional (no vulgar profiles like the many you could find on MySpace). 

      I used to ask, how can Facebook be so highly valued? Why would it be worth billions? Now I have my answers. :)

    • I am in your age range and completely disagree with you. Out of everyone I know, I can think of two people who are not on Facebook. The first deleted his account years ago. He says he did it because it was too big a distraction from his writing and it diminished “real communication” down to a status post. I suspect the real reason had at least a little bit to do with his wife’s (legitimate) distrust of him. The second never signed up.

      Do people in our age bracket complain about Facebook? Sure. Absolutely. Definitely. We they are checking their feed and updating their status.

      It’s not as cool as it used to be. It’s function has changed. Our parents are on their now so we hesitate to post that photo of us shitfaced at the bar. Big deal. Most of us are still logging in every day.

      Do I agree that it will be dominant for the next sixty years? Probably not. Few things in this world can last that long. But I think Facebook will be around for a long time.

      To some extent people in major cities tend to diminish opinions given by someone in a small town in the Midwest. I get it. What’s cool in Illinois is generally what was cool several years ago in NY or LA. It’s just a fact. With that fact in mind, I don’t live in some small Midwestern town. I live in Los Angeles. I am friends with musicians, writers, actors, artists- successful and unsuccessful. I have friends ranging in age from twenty to seventy five.

      And all but two of them are on Facebook.

      I actually agree with you about the quality of life bit. I am sure that interpersonal relationships are best handled without the help of Facebook. I have never said “Happy Birthday to anyone on Facebook. If I am not close enough with the person to call them or see them for their birthday, I don’t bother with it. I also never play any of the games, because I don’t want to lose hours of my life to that shit. I block all of the games from my feed so i dont have to read about other people playing them. But I get to see new photos of my three year old niece and one year old nephew in Ohio every week. My mother gets a general idea of what’s going on in my life during weeks we don’t always talk. If I want a recommendation on where to go for a given service, someone I am friends with will know a place and I don’t have to make twenty calls to hear an opinion from a friend rather than a stranger on Yelp. Event invites are sent through Facebook and there are pages I “like” so that I can be up to date on different things going on in my city. There are dozens of reasons to use Facebook. Hundreds probably. Which is why it’ll be around for a long time to come.

    • Larry

      Never been on face book so i am speaking out of school, but can’t you just un-like people and stay in your own community. Better yet, start your own face book and have categories; teens, x’s, y’s, boomers… even;  cool people, nerds, geeks etc. Then you don’t have to worry about your mom sitting at the next table and you can post away.

      Wait a minute, that’s not a bad idea. James can you hook me up with some VC’s and programmers and we’ll go get “all” 15 girls at the party. We can call it tastesbook. Ok, we can work on that.

      One more thing. Old people still have sex. The horror!

      Just messing with you Nick. Think of how much money your going to make shorting the stock.

      • Andrew

        Larry I think your talking about google+

      The writing is on the wall for Facebook – despite their IPO or because of it   – and it will not be Google+ to replace it.What will replace Facebook will be a  simple social website with no chat (there are some good programs out there), no 3rd applications, no walls, no inbox (there is yahoo, gmail, etc.), no groups, and many other no’s, only the friends and their status. Have it as simple as possible with the main purpose to keep in touch with the friends and the second one as important as the main one not to become addicted. There will not be any need to log on to the site every day to see what one’s friends did.  The social site will use customizable e-mail ‘reports’ , daily or weekly, same as LinkedIn.Question: How to make people register on another social website ?Answer: Enlist the help of a company like Starbucks .Give everyone who opens an account a Starbucks coupon for 3 coffees (for him/her and her/his 2 friends). The coupon should be valid only if all 3 people registered and came to the coffee shop. The message should be clear: it is better to meet in person rather than online.

  • The Constitution is alive and well… we have allowed our great country to be taken over by corrupt individuals that have no interest in being public servants. Instead the public has become their servants. Our founding fathers didn’t have pensions for life or the ability to act on insider information with stock market transactions, Political Action Committees, Lobbyists, one Billion dollar re-election campaign funds or all the ludicrous perks that go along with the office. They went back to their private lives after they served their country. Until we as a country get over our political apathy and march peacefully on Washington to demand change there will be none. Big business has WAY too much influence over how our country is run. Our children have little chance to experience what our parents and we have enjoyed. Get mad every one of you, get passionately mad… James Altucher for president! (or at least Secretary of State)

  • Anonymous

    Dude sometimes your mini articles in the FAQ posts are your best stuff. Have you thought about adding a little button on individual answers so they can be forwarded? The orphan answer I find particularly good today, be good to be able to share just that part.
    Anyway think about it, and keep going – your blog is pretty much my best part of the work day…. And yes Im getting to finishing my book.
    Also just a quick thing the day you posted the be a superhero post, I got up in the morning looked myself in the mirror and said “Your a superhero, your gonna save a life today”, that day I go for a cigarette and this lady is down stairs, terrified and shaking, to scarred to go into the elevator, so I go to take her up the fire stairs, but she is terrified of the fire door closing and being in the dark, so I grab a guy to hold open the door, get a lady to keep the upstairs door open and led her by the hand up the stairs. Felt great, got this other guy involved and he felt great as well. So two superhero’s created from the one blog post – I love being a secret superhero…. Keeping this comment anonymous so I don’t blow my secret identity!

    • miltiadis

      “Have you thought about adding a little button on individual answers so they can be forwarded?”


      And send me the code once you figure out how to do it!! :D

  • roidude

    James, I am certainly not a yoga expert either, although I just completed my 600th Bikram Yoga class 2 days ago (over 3 1/2 years). I’d say my favorite posture is spine-twisting because it’s the last one and spells the end of 90 minutes of a very tough work out. My least favorite is triangle (often called warrior). It is very hard and I am just beginning to get close to doing it right. Heck, it took me a good 18 months just to work up to a rectangle.

  • I actually think Google themselves believe in the Google Love theory. They are doing everything they can do make SEO obsolete! 

  • Crusader79

    The question about mediocrity reminded me of this poem by the Taoist master, Chuang Tzu, posted on today’s Daily Dish:

    Who can free himself from achievement
    And from fame, descend and be lost
    Amid the masses of men?
    He will flow like Tao, unseen.
    He will go about like Life itself
    With no name and no home.
    Simple is he, without distinction.
    To all appearances he is a fool.
    His steps leave no trace. He has no power.
    He achieves nothing, has no reputation.
    Since he judges no one
    No one judges him.
    Such is the perfect man:
    His boat is empty.

    • Good; but it takes strength to do that. So maybe “mediocrity” is not mediocre at all.

  • You’re Wrong

    “Or I can just quietly build a business that supplies a good or service that people really really need and plow my profits back into building more of those goods and sell to more people and get bigger and bigger. Then I can use the profits to borrow money from a bank so I can build goods faster and sell more. Then I can repeat that until I’m really big, I’m helping a lot of people make their lives better, and I’m getting rich.”
    This is wrong. You don’t get rich using your own money; you use opm (other people’s money). this is the number one rule. You get a VC, friend or family to give you check based off the promise of marketshare dominance and growth. This is how companies like twitter,  pinterest, and instagram despite having no business model or customers are worth billions, and make their founders and early investors extremely wealthy almost overnight.

    • miltiadis

       “Then I can use the profits to borrow money from a bank so I can build goods faster and sell more”

      Did you even read the paragraph or did you just copy/paste? pfff

  • Philippines is spelled with one L and two Ps, not the other way around. And there are more Facebook users in the Philippines now, than Friendster.

  • Jack

    A different about the orphan question.   Maybe the non-orphans in the US should be happy about the labor law changes, medical improvements and the lack of wars within our country.    The chance of being orphan in the US has signficantly dropped since WWII.   Life was hard and people had greater chance of becoming an orphan.

    I have seen stats that show that number of orphanages in US grew by 9 fold after the civil war.   By some estimates, Europe had over 1million orphans after WWII.   A large population orphans gives a far greater chance that some of them will wildly succeed.   

  • RondelleJones

    This was one of your best Q+As yet! Technology, startups, relationships, it’s got all the stuff I love.

    James, this got me thinking b/c you have such a creative mind…. if you could have any app designed for the iphone/android what would it be? What do you want to see in an app that hasn’t yet been done or is done so poorly that it could use improvement?

    I am currently in idea mode for building out some apps and though I have plenty of programming skills, I am not the creative type and my list of ideas is fairly weak.

    If I do get a great idea from you, or any of the readers for that matter, I would love to share 50% of the profits.

  • Jviet

     A word on orphans.  If they do tend to become more successful then I would attribute that to not having the biases, limitations, and prejudices that most typically get from their parental units.  For example, if a young person has outstanding artistic ability yet the parents don’t, then the young person may doubt that talent due to the exposure to them while the orphan does not.

    I have no proof of this but it makes sense to me.  Many people I’ve come across seem to take big steps forward after their parents are removed from their lives (by death or other factors).  Not sure if others agree but I think this is valid. 

  • Gonzalo Gandia

    The word StartUp is interesting, isn’t it? Down here in Chile, the government has started an initiative called StartUp Chile. The idea is to offer young entrepreneurs from around the world the opportunity to come to Chile and develop their business ideas. If their idea passes the filtering process, they are awarded the nominal sum of USD 40,000 to create their startup venture.

    I think the idea is great as it will plant a seed amongst the Chilean youth, a seed of creativity and innovation. This is a great initiative for a country that tends to be copy/paste…

    So, I guess I get another type of reaction when I hear the word StartUp. Especially when it’s not used as merely a catch phrase within such entrepreneurial havens such as Silicon Valley. In this case, I applaud a government with its forward thinking, something that is not seen often in our world today…

  • I’m not a yoga expert but do yoga almost daily, just a couple of minutes. Many times I end with an upside-down position because it relaxes me. And it helped me to get rid of a working overtime thyroid. But as you I don’t like to be upside down that much. It doesn’t feel save. So I stand on my shoulders in between 2 chairs. Putting my feet against the wall. I can hold on to the chairs with my hands, my feet are secure against the wall and my whole body loves it, my internal organs but also my eyes, my whole skin. It’s a wonderful posture. So simple.
    I’m enjoying your daily practice! Thank you.

  • Atman987

    The beauty of the internet is that it is able to connect people across space.  This doesn’t result in a large, united world, it results in the unlimited forming of niche communities.

    And this is why Facebook will die. It is populist and anti-niche.  It is trying to be all things to all people. 

  • Angelina

    James, I am trying both to create the brilliant service that people really need (and they really do need what we’re selling down here in Brazil) AND improve the male:female ratio at tech meetups. But even when you’re trying to be Batman, you have some days when you really just want recognition. How do you stay focused on execution when you feel like your LoveRank(TM) is negative?

  • I have a very small blog at present and I have been very worried about SEO. To the extent of having a crippling effect on writing. Constantly thinking about how this will rank.

    With your unpatented LoveRank, I feel better that I should not focus on SEO. But completely focus on the story or what I want to write and do best I can.

    That is really refreshing and also freeing. Thank you.