We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the Internet evolves in dog years. Technology moves so fast that it’s hard for many of us to keep up sometimes. But that doesn’t stop TM Social Media Manager Michael L. Hoffman and myself from trying. Last week was a big week in the world of SEO and tech, but the biggest news, however, was Facebook filing for a $5 billion IPO. This is one of the many topics the two of us discuss in this week’s TM Podcast.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Facebook filed their Initial Public Offering of $5 billion last week to become a publicly-traded company. This is huge. Facebook is the world’s largest social network, boasting more than 845 million users. That’s roughly 12 percent of the world’s entire population. But what we don’t think Facebook realizes is what this will mean for company transparency. Facebook has always done things behind closed doors without much noise. This will change once the company goes public in May 2012.
The Guardian’s Michael Wolff doesn’t know if Facebook is quite ready for prime time yet. He writes, “I don’t think that Facebook, with its messianic ambitions and squirrelly zeal, is actually ready for the harsh light of public company life. Even though it comes to market with the weight and hegemonic feel of the biggest brands, it has grown up in such a bubble of cultishness and doctrine, that primetime scrutiny could shortly become very uncomfortable … Public exposure, rather than fictional movie exposure, could be cruel – even though Zuckerberg is said to be practicing up for earnings calls. Indeed, it is hard to overstate how truly public Facebook is about to become, and how much more difficult it will be to contain the controversies – about its provenance, its financing, its privacy polices and its data thirst – that have always dogged it, and which, in the past, it has largely just gone tightlipped about.”
Wolff’s last point is the most crucial. Everything the social giant has done in the past has been done behind a veil, now it must open up and let the public in. We don’t know if Mark Zuckerberg and Co. are prepared for what’s about to come.
Speaking of being ready, 2012 is only a month old, but the amount of change our industry has experienced seems like seven times that. SEO.20 recently published blog post featuring “40 Cutting Edge Social Media & Search Services to Invest in Now.” Of the 40 items on the list, the most important are Online Reputation Management and Mobile SEO. It doesn’t matter if you’re a person, company or brand. It is absolutely crucial that your image and reputation be protected online. And next to having a solid online reputation, it’s also vital that your site be easy to find, especially in a mobile platform. More and more internet surfing is being done via mobile devices, and if your site can’t be found, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers.
Listen to the podcast below for more about Facebook’s IPO, SEO tips and an update on The @davebing Experiment. Tell us in the comments what you think!