The world of social media and technology is sometimes like a parallel universe. It has its own rules, its own currency and its own celebrities. Take Robert Scoble. He’s famous in Silicon Valley for, well, nobody’s quite sure exactly. That doesn’t stop hordes of nerds from hanging on his every word in the hopes he’ll hype the hell out of whatever Web app they’re building. SXSW is Mecca for this crowd, so a couple smart developers built “Is Scoble in this Room?” It uses your location and Scoble’s tendency to constantly broadcast his location to pinpoint whether you’re actually in physical proximity to the great man.
There are other ways Silicon Valley operates in a separate universe. Take how it figures out what new companies are worth. The Valley is currently in one of its regular hype cycles that make rational people shake their heads. The funding for tech companies is coming fast and furious — check out SnagaJob.com getting $27 million — while established but unproven breakouts like Twitter are getting sky-high valuations. It can seem like investor types simply pull numbers out of a hat. Check out how this report from Wedbush Securities that pegs Twitter’s value at $10 billion. The analyst cites Charlie Sheen joining Twitter as the reason for his bullishness. Yikes. Sure, Twitter is a cultural phenomenon and clearly valuable. But putting a $10 billion valuation on a company that did $45 million in revenue last year has all the scientific underpinnings of throwing darts.
The oversharing era knows no bounds. It’s even bleeding into more traditional venues. Say you’re a 33-year-old woman who during Hoboken’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration likes to star her day with a beer in the shower and then go on to “kegs and eggs.” Would you tell the New York Times this AND use your real name? Say hello to Nicole Magana, real-estate agent and morning beer guzzler. She has a YouTube video up of her soberly talking Hoboken real estate. The first comment: “Nicole, Cant wait to drink beers with you in the shower…” Let’s use this as a teaching moment.
This was bound to happen: Spock discovers the ugly side of Facebook.