Facebook IPO: A Touchstone Cultural Moment for America?
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Tomorrow's the day that shares in Facebook will start publically trading, one of the most highly anticipated events in Silicon Valley's history. But some of the major players are hedging their bets and General Motors has stopped advertising on Facebook altogether. Will it really be a financial milestone or another dotcom disappointment? We hear strikingly different views. Also, minorities become the majority in the US, and political polarization and presidential politics — from 2004 to 2012.
Banner image: A man opens the door of Building 10 at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, May 15, 2012. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/GettyImages
Minorities Become the Majority ()
For the first time in history, the Census Bureau reports that white births are no longer a majority in the United States. In a nation founded by white Europeans, Latinos, blacks, Asians, other minorities and children of mixed race made up 50.4 percent of all births over a 12-month period. William Frey is a demographer, professor at the University of Michigan and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
- William Frey: Brookings Institution
Facebook Is Going Public ()
New York's financial media are obsessed with Silicon Valley as Facebook — with 900 million subscribers — prepares an initial public offering that could set records on Wall Street. There's no clear evidence that advertising on social media really works, but everybody has got to be there. So Facebook might be worth $100 billion. On the other hand, Goldman Sachs and other Facebook insiders will cash in early, and small investors are being warned that the price might be too high. General Motors stopped paid advertising on Facebook. Smart move or evidence that the old bricks-and-mortar economy just doesn't get the Internet Age? However it shakes out, Facebook's IPO is a media event big enough to create a cultural moment.
A Look Ahead at Presidential Election Politics ()
In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry spent big on TV advertising, in search of undecided voters in the political middle ground. George W. Bush's campaign knew they were just not there. This year's presidential campaign will be decided in so-called "swing states" -- including Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It won't be decided by "swing voters." Reid Wilson, Editor in Chief of the Hotline, National Journal's daily briefing on politics, says this is a "mobilization election" not a "persuasion election."
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