The big news of the year so far is that you may soon be able to buy stock in Facebook. Considering that there has been an award-winning movie made about Facebook, a site that now has about twice as many users as the United States has citizens, is it any wonder that they are able to attract some top-notch investors?
There is some speculation that all of this is going to lead to a Facebook IPO in mid 2012.
So, by then, will Facebook be a good investment? I'm certainly no financial expert (I can barely balance a checkbook), so don't go by me. I do vaguely remember, however, that the general principle of investing in the stock market is to "buy low, and sell high." It seems to me that those who are buying low and selling high have already invested in Facebook. The world of technology is moving so quickly, that is very likely Facebook will be on a downhill slide in popularity within another year-and-a-half. Comparisons are being made between Facebook and Google. I would argue that they are not the same thing at all. Google has made itself profitable by helping its users profit. Facebook has done everything it can to make sure its users do not profit from it.
Right now, Facebook has inserted itself into our lives by making itself the "hub" of our online social lives. Sooner or later, someone is going to come along, and put Facebook in its rightful place - a spoke in the wheel, rather than the hub. Eventually, we will each have our own web-based social network - accessible through a single signon (maybe Google?), and Facebook will be nothing more than just another place to upload photos, links, and mini-blogs that we want to share with our online network.
Or maybe not - who knows? Just be careful not to put all of your eggs into a basket that has already gone as high as it can go, and is on the way down.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.