Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Inc.’s
chief operating officer, said the past decade has seen little or
no gain for women in top government or executive positions.
“Women in the U.S. became 50 percent of college graduates
in 1981,” Sandberg, 42, said at the Women in the World
conference in New York. “In every industry, women have steadily
made progress in the past 30 years — except at the top, where,
essentially, over the last 10 years, there hasn’t been
Sandberg has called gender inequality “this generation’s
central moral problem,” citing the disparate amount of women
with power both globally and in the U.S. The number of Fortune
500 companies run by women fell to a dozen last year from 15 in
2010, according to the magazine’s rankings. In the U.S Congress,
women hold just 89, or 17 percent, of 535 voting seats, data
from the Congressional Research Service show.
Sandberg led a panel today that included Jill Abramson, 57,
who replaced Bill Keller as the New York Times’ executive editor
in September, and Gloria Steinem, the 77-year-old activist who
spurred the contemporary women’s rights movement when she
started Ms. Magazine 40 years ago. Cheryl Mills, counselor and
chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was also
on the panel.
Abramson, the first female editor of the Times in its 160-
year history, said she has been “obsessing” over how to ensure
that young female editors or copy editors at the newspaper “get
known.” Almost 40 percent of senior editors and managers in the
newsroom are women, she said.
‘Sometimes Stalled Progress’
“Things have certainly changed, but it’s been progress –
and not constant, and sometimes stalled progress,” Abramson
said about women advancing to leadership roles.
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent created a
Women’s Leadership Council at the Atlanta-based company that
advises senior management “on how to hire more women, how to
mentor more women, develop them and promote them and retain
them,” he said in a separate session at the conference today.
The company also started an initiative to empower five million
women outside the company by 2020, he said.
The CEO, who’s led the world’s largest soft-drink maker
since July 2008, said three years ago, there was “a huge
mismatch” between the amount of women at the company and the as
much as 70 percent of women who buy Coca-Cola products.
“Women are so important in their communities in which they
serve, but we don’t have the same numbers we should have in the
company, so that’s why we started working on this,” he said.
Periods of Resistance
Steinem, who said men still don’t have a lot of experience
seeing women in power, said change will come when organizations
recognize that parenting is a shared responsibility between
mothers and fathers.
“We are, among modern democracies, the worst in the world
for making it work for parents,” Steinem said. “We’re not just
talking about integrating things the way they are, we’re talking
about transforming them. And because women are half the
population, we have to transform them in order to live full
Steinem is the subject of an HBO documentary released in
August, “Gloria: In Her Own Words,” and is working on a book
about her more than 30 years as a feminist organizer, “Road to
the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered.”
In social-justice movements, “there are two periods of
resistance, one is at the beginning, when nobody is allowed in,
and the second is when you reach critical mass, and the group
previously in power begins to imagine they’re not just including
you as an employee, but you might be their boss,” she said.
Women make up 19.3 percent of national legislative seats
worldwide and account for 42.1 percent of spots in the
legislatures of Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Norway,
according to the Congressional Research Service report. The
Inter-Parliamentary Union ranks the U.S. 69th globally for
legislative female representation.
Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown, who organized the
third annual conference, said at the event that Sandberg is “an
aggressive advocate” for female executives in Silicon Valley.
Sandberg is the best-paid senior executive of Menlo Park,
California-based Facebook, receiving $30.9 million in
compensation last year. She may own up to 1.7 percent of the
company after its initial public offering this year, which may
be the largest for an Internet company on record. At the top end
of the valuation range expected for the offering, her stake may
be worth $1.7 billion.
She was one of six co-chairs of the World Economic Forum in
Davos, Switzerland this year, where she led a panel on “Women
as the Way Forward.” A mother of two, she’s also a director on
the boards of Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and Starbucks Corp. (SBUX)
While Sandberg is a prominent advocate of gender equality,
giving a TED talk on the subject in 2010 and making it the focal
point of her commencement speech at Barnard College last year,
the social-media company where she is the public face has a
seven-member, all-male board.
Just 11.3 percent of the Fortune 500 had male-only boards
last year, according to Catalyst, a New York-based nonprofit
that researches women and business issues.
A Catalyst survey of Fortune 500 companies found that those
with three or more female directors outperformed those with
fewer between 2005 and 2009, achieving on average 43 percent
better returns on equity.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Sapna Maheshwari in New York at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Joanna Ossinger at
VEVO, a music video site co-owned by Sony Music and Universal Music, launched a revamped website today along with new iOS and Android apps, all with greater social elements through integration with Facebook. The redesigned VEVO site features a larger player and continuous playback of videos based on personalized playlists sourced from a user’s iTunes library and Facebook activity. The new VEVO now requires users to login through Facebook, suggesting that the service is shifting away from the YouTube platform to what some believe to be an eventual acquisition by Facebook. However, this is only speculation right now. The service uses your Facebook friends and activities to automatically populate playlists of suggested music videos. This Facebook integration is also seen in the updated iPhone and Android VEVO apps with the update coming soon to the iPad. The app will match your friends’ Facebook music likes and saved playlists. On the iPhone, you’ll be able to also match music videos with your iTunes library with suggestions based on your music tastes. Additionally, VEVO on the iPhone is compatible with Apple’s AirPlay wireless streaming, allowing you to easily stream music videos from your phone to your TV. Another way to enjoy VEVO on your TV is through its new Xbox app, but it is a US-only service for now. [via MobileSyrup]
VEVO, a music video site co-owned by Sony Music and Universal Music, launched a revamped website today along with new iOS and Android apps, all with greater social elements through integration with Facebook. The redesigned VEVO site features a larger player and continuous playback of videos based on personalized playlists sourced from a user’s iTunes library and Facebook activity.
The new VEVO now requires users to login through Facebook, suggesting that the service is shifting away from the YouTube platform to what some believe to be an eventual acquisition by Facebook. However, this is only speculation right now. The service uses your Facebook friends and activities to automatically populate playlists of suggested music videos.
This Facebook integration is also seen in the updated iPhone and Android VEVO apps with the update coming soon to the iPad. The app will match your friends’ Facebook music likes and saved playlists.
On the iPhone, you’ll be able to also match music videos with your iTunes library with suggestions based on your music tastes. Additionally, VEVO on the iPhone is compatible with Apple’s AirPlay wireless streaming, allowing you to easily stream music videos from your phone to your TV. Another way to enjoy VEVO on your TV is through its new Xbox app, but it is a US-only service for now.
Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and coordinator of Barack Obama’s online efforts during the 2008 presidential election, is entering the “old media” fray as publisher and editor-in-chief of the New Republic, the publication announced Friday.
Initial response? Journalists who do not write for the New Republic are seething with envy, and wonder if perhaps another Silicon Valley millionaire/billionaire would like to come and inject an infusion of new-media money into their publication too.
But it’s not just the money, it’s also what Hughes is saying about the state of journalism today that is drawing attention. After helping Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskowitz start Facebook in 2004, Hughes joined Obama’s presidential campaign in 2007.
In a letter to readers of the New Republic, the 28-year-old Hughes says that chasing Web traffic is a mistake and implies that he really believes there is still a hunger for long-form content.
“It seems that today too many media institutions chase superficial metrics of online virality at the expense of investing in rigorous reporting and analysis of the most important stories of our time,” he writes. “When few people are investing in media institutions with such bold aims as ‘enlightenment to the problems of the nation,’ I believe we must.”
In a media blitz Friday (a story in the New York Times, an interview on NPR) Hughes also added to another journalistic dream — that as soon as a critical mass of people have a tablet in front of them, there will suddenly be demand for 3,000-word and even 5,000-word stories again.
Hughes tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep, “What’s really interesting is the introduction of the tablet — not just the iPad, but the Nook and the Kindle. While they aren’t going to solve all of our problem, I do think they make it easier for people to pause, linger, read and really process very important ideas.”
Even better, with Facebook money in his pocket, Hughes doesn’t seem to care if the New Republic is ever profitable.
When the New York Times asked Hughes how he would make money for a magazine that has long been in the red, Hughes replied, “Profit per se is not my motive. The reason I’m getting involved here is that I believe in the type of vigorous contextual journalism that we — we in general as a society — need.”
Twitter is focused on promoted tweets to bring profits, but could it charge a monthly fee and keep tweeters from abandoning the service?
Gawker pounced on Twitter Friday with an article titled, “Twitter’s Secret History As the World’s Worst Tech or Media Business,” exposing what the author Ryan Tate called “not encouraging” financials, which were leaked by a source allegedly with close knowledge of the company’s recent past.
However, by the end of the article Tate allowed that “Twitter’s laughable first five years of financial performance might just be an entertainingly weak introduction to a decades-long saga of epic riches, fame, and glory.”
Twitter has some runway before the profit motive overwhelms its corporate senses. It has more money than it knows what do with at this juncture, collecting around three-quarters of a billion dollars over its nearly six-year existence. And, it continues to amass users globally, playing a role in revolutions, scandals and politics, and become a worldwide verb, like Google, all of which helps to assuage the impatience of investors large and small.
Like Google, Facebook and every other player in the digital media realm, Twitter is banking on advertising to earn profits, and to fuel a Facebook-like public offering. “2011 was the year we began scaling it. And 2012 is the year when we demonstrate that it’s a juggernaut,” Twitter’s Satya Patel told Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone regarding the company’s advertising.
Twitter’s is basically a mass-scale marketing platform, in which every tweeter is a marketer and every follower an eyeball and potential re-marketer.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told Stone, that the core of his business strategy is the “promoted tweet,” advertiser tweets that show up at the top of a user’s feed. Retweets and clicks from the advertiser tweet bring in the revenue. Twitter has $120,000 deal for advertisers who want to show up for a day on top of the list of popular topics on the main Twitter page.
It could be a nice ad business, but will it put Twitter in Facebook or Google revenue territory and deliver the kind of profit that shareholders expect? Can Twitter avoid littering its pages with videos, banners and other anathemas to its company ethos?
Nearly four years go I half jokingly proposed a business model to a then fledgling Twitter: “If you like Twitter so much, how about paying $5 a month for the privilege, with a guarantee of service. For some, that’s less than a day’s worth of coffee, a lowly beer, or maybe soon a gallon of gas.” (The prices of gas is climbing toward $5 today as it was in 2008.)
It’s time to update that proposal. Could Twitter charge a monthly fee and keep tweeters from abandoning the service? How about $1 a month, half the price of a small coffee. The Starbucks drinking Twitter users can afford the modest fee, which could generate over $1 billion in revenue per year with the flick of a 100 million credit cards.
Of course, the counter-argument is that Facebook, Google and other social services are free, so why should anyone pay to make Twitter’s shareholders richer. And, some of the 100 million users would revolt, enabling a Twitter rival that doesn’t charge a monthly fee to rise up and capture the allegiance of Twitter users. In addition, many people around the world, using Twitter on their phones, don’t have $12 a month to donate to the Twitter cause. Twitter could wither and become a ghost town.
On the other hand, Twitter is unrivaled at this juncture and getting more deeply embedded into cultures around the world. What if somehow the $1 per month could be ensure a certain quality of service, additional features and a minimum of invasive ads. It might work. Users would be happier and the company would be more profitable and able to invest in its products. Having transparency–knowing that the $1-per-month wasn’t wasted on excessive bonuses, private jets and sushi flown in from Japan–would be essential.
As we have seen with smartphone and
tablet, people are willing to pay for applications delivering content, breaking with original Internet premise that content is free. If you find value in Web content or services, what is it worth to you?
It’s an article of faith in Silicon Valley for almost every start-up. Get users first, figure out the business model second. The faith part comes into play because there is unwavering belief that enough users will somehow create financial opportunity, even if you can’t see what that would be today.
And that brings us to Twitter. Gawker has a big scoop today, with financial data from the past two years. Let’s cut to the bottom line: The company is deep in the red. And after six years in existence, there are no signs it’s getting anywhere near the break even point.
The numbers Gawker obtained are for 2010, and the first quarter of 2011. And they are bleak:
Jan. 2010 – Dec. 2010
Revenue: $28.5 million
Net loss: ($67.8 million)
Jan. 2011 – Apr. 2011
Revenue: $23.8 million
Net loss (non GAAP): ($25.8 million)
Now, a caveat. Those last numbers are about a year old. And Twitter had been ramping up its ad products in 2011. Indeed, as Gawker notes, a recent BusinessWeek story claimed that Twitter has “finally turned a corner” and a third party estimated that Twitter will do $260 million in revenue this year:
Twitter’s gung-ho product VP Satya Patel told Businessweek that 2011 “was the year we began scaling… our ad business… And 2012 is the year when we demonstrate it’s a juggernaut.”
I can’t say I’m a bit surprised by the numbers. Many have faith that Twitter will eventually find a way to make money because it has so many users. Indeed, while attending a Twitter event in December, I talked to CEO Dick Costolo who made it clear that revenue was not the primary operating mandate for him:
“We should think of revenue like oxygen,” Costolo said. “It’s necessary for life, but it’s not the purpose of life. If we do the right things, the businesses are going to follow it.”
In a way, that’s noble. And I applauded Twitter for “taking the slow road” to the IPO, and not going public just because the current social media frenzy might give them an opening.
At the same time, Twitter face some steep challenges. The way people access it and experience it still tends to be very fragmented, it’s hard for Twitter to control the user experience which makes it complicated to create an ad model. Costolo, while apparently well regarded, is also running the largest company of his career, and faces challenges scaling it, maintaing its culture, and figuring out the business model question.
Clearly, investors have a lot of confidence that Twitter will get there. The company is building out a new headquarters in San Francisco. They’re planning for big hiring and expansion. Investors have poured $760 million into the company, according to Gawker. And while it’s hard to gauge how much of that is still on hand, it seems to safe to say Twitter has a couple of years of runway with the money it has, assuming it can keep revenues and expenses growing at a similar pace.
But here’s the awkward question: What if there is no business model there? And I say that as a user who loves Twitter, and would love that not to be the case. But for those who cry, “Impossible!” let me just offer one word: Browsers. They are the most commonly used service on the Web, but no one makes a dime from them. Yes, the biggies such as Microsoft and Google make them because it enhances their data on you. But otherwise, it’s not really a business.
I have a hunch that in the end, it’s just as likely that Twitter is more like a browser than Facebook. It’s a great utility, indispensible in many cases. Very influential. But simply not capable of being monetized in a way that covers its operating and infrastructures costs. That doesn’t mean Twitter is not great. It just means that Twitter might not actually be a business. And that’s okay. Not every great piece of technology, not every great innovation has to be judged in terms of dollar signs.
But how long will investors sit tight? Hard to say. There’s been some assumption that if the business model doesn’t materialize, then someone, probably Google or Microsoft would buy them. Owning Twitter might be interesting to them not as a direct source of revenue, but rather, another stream of data they can gather about you to expand the databases they’re already building of your personal information.
For many, such an outcome would probably feel like a failure. But for me, anything that brings stability and a sound financial footing that keeps Twitter around for the long haul would be just fine.
BOSTON — American Express cardholders can use the Twitter online messaging service to get exclusive discounts and other deals from more than a dozen retailers under a partnership announced last week.
Cardholders signing up for the service can tweet a Twitter hashtag, or search term, that’s unique to a specific offer. After the purchase, deal savings are automatically credited to that customer’s American Express card statement within one to three days.
Customers with American Express consumer or business card accounts can visit a website https://sync.americanexpress.com/twitter to sync their card with Twitter and qualify for the deals. That involves
entering a name, card number and email address.
The service is designed to streamline the use of social media to take advantage of discounts. A customer can stay on Twitter to qualify for a deal rather than being re-directed to a merchant’s website, entering a promotion code and printing a coupon. A clerk at a checkout stand doesn’t need to be notified about the discount because tweeting the deal’s hashtag loads the offer onto a customer’s card account. Savings are passed on to the customer if a qualifying purchase is made.
Typical offers are expected to be of the ‘Buy $50 worth of items, get $10 back’ variety, said Ed Gilligan, vice chairman with New York-based American Express.
Sixteen retailers signed up for Tuesday’s
launch, ranging from Best Buy, Dell, McDonald’s and Ticketmaster to Whole Foods Market. The retailers aren’t paying to participate.
Terms of the partnership between American Express and Twitter were not disclosed.
Broward County Sheriff’s Office
The photo provided by the Broward County Sheriff’s Department shows Steven Mulhall, 21, of Coral Springs, on Facebook holding a judge’s nameplate that was pried from the door of Broward Circuit Judge Michael Orlando’s courtroom.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Note to thieves. If you steal a nameplate from a judge, don’t let anyone post a picture of you holding it on Facebook.
Authorities in South Florida say that’s exactly what led to the arrest Thursday of 21-year-old Steven Mulhall on violation of probation charges.
Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Mulhall pried the $40 nameplate from the courtroom door of Broward Circuit Judge Michael Orlando while making a court appearance. He says Mulhall has multiple petty theft convictions and now faces felony charges.
“The nameplate is like only $40, not that big of a crime, but what an idiot. He puts it on Facebook,” Lamberti told the Palm Beach Post. ”Here he is flaunting it on Facebook. He violated the terms of his parole by stealing, from a judge he appeared before no less. He’s got multiple convictions for petty theft, so now this is a felony.”
Girlfriend’s Facebook page
Deputies picked up Mulhall, Lamberti added, after verifying the suspect had appeared before Judge Orlando. The judge’s nameplate was pried from the door around Feb. 23, according to the arrest report. A tip to Broward County Crime Stoppers led authorities to Mulhall.
“The tipster gave us his address, name and the Facebook page,” Lamberti told the paper. The picture reportedly was found on his Mulhall’s girlfriend’s Facebook page. The girlfriend’s name was Natalie Coma Toze Segura, according to arrest records…
The nameplate will be returned to the judge. A phone number wasn’t available for Mulhall.
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(Reuters) – Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook and a former online strategist for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, has purchased a majority stake in The New Republic, the magazine said on Friday.
(Reuters) – Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook and a former online strategist for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, has purchased a majority stake in The New Republic, the magazine said on Friday.
Hughes, 28, will become publisher and editor-in-chief of the nearly 100-year old magazine which covers American politics.
He is also expected to apply his expertise in digital technology in his new role.
The New Republic currently publishes a daily Web magazine. The New Republic did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction or the exact size of the stake.
Hughes co-founded Facebook in 2004 at Harvard with his then- roommates Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz.
Since working on the Obama campaign Hughes founded Jumo.com in 2010, a non-profit site that aimed to help people find ways to help each other. It was later combined with GOOD in 2011, an online content and social engagement platform.
As well as his new role Hughes will continue to invest independently and work with non-profits like the Knight Foundation.
(Reporting By Yinka Adegoke, editing by Dave Zimmerman)
TACOMA, Wash.– A Washington state corrections officer has been charged with bigamy after Facebook discovered two women were connected to him and suggested they might want to “friend.”
Prosecutors in Pierce County say Alan L. O’Neill married a woman in 2001, moved out in 2009, changed his name and remarried without divorcing wife No. 1.
Wife No. 1 found out about Wife No. 2 when Facebook detected their connection to O’Neill and suggested the friendship connection.
The News Tribune reports O’Neill was placed on administrative leave after prosecutors charged him Thursday.
New social media star Pinterest overtook micro-blogging site Twitter in driving referral traffic in February (meaning that more people are sharing and clicking links to websites on Pinterest than Twitter).
The findings from online sharing resource Shareaholic show Pinterest holding 1.05 per cent share of all traffic sources while Twitter holds 0.82 per cent, despite the site’s referral friendly link-shortening and constant stream of information.
The data comes from the analytics of 200,000 publishers that reach more than 270 million unique monthly visitors each month.
Pinterest, which is also still invite-only, encourages users to create digital collages on topics they like. That makes the site a perfect place for link-sharing, says Shareaholic.
Pinterest has already outpaced Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined for share of referral traffic, according to a previous study from Shareaholic.
But the site still falls behind StumbleUpon (1.23 per cent) and Facebook (6.38 per cent).
In search engine news, Google still dominates with 48.81 per cent of the market share followed by Yahoo (1.61 per cent) and Bing (1.21 per cent).