The New Yorker’s Zuckerberg Profile

100920_r20016_p233 I was very much looking forward to the Mark Zuckerberg profile in the New Yorker. I love stories about entrepreneurs and stories about new media; this article should have been right up my alley. But, like Alexis Madrigal, I was disappointed. I didn't really learned that much about him. The King of Open Networks was not that open with the author. Is Zuckerberg really that boring?

In a side note, I have to marvel at the power of Facebook. Facebook is now my biggest referral. More people show up here via a link on Facebook than show up from a link from a blogger. Those links bring in new readers. It has changed the way I blog. I now think about how I can package up an idea, so it's appealing on a Facebook page. (Pictures. Short. Finished product.)


7 thoughts on “The New Yorker’s Zuckerberg Profile

  1. He’s 26 years old. What 26 year old is interesting in the way that makes a profile like this work? I suspect that Zukerberg really is that boring. He’s an illustration of “happy families [or happy superstar 26 year olds, . . . .] are alike.”
    I’m trying to think of other people who are famous at 26 (athletes, musicians, actors, the occasional writer or political activist). Are any of them interesting?

  2. Alexander had assumed the throne and conquered Asia Minor, the Levant, Syria, Egypt, Assyria and Persia by 26. That’s reasonably interesting. Times may have changed a bit since.

  3. “Alexander had assumed the throne and conquered Asia Minor, the Levant, Syria, Egypt, Assyria and Persia by 26. That’s reasonably interesting. Times may have changed a bit since.”
    Maybe. Zuckerberg has made a gazillion dollars, and influenced millions of people’s lives. He probably hasn’t killed anyone, though indirectly who knows what Facebook has wrought.
    But, this is a list of Alexander and Mark’s accomplishments, not how interesting their stories are. My guess is Alexander was probably pretty boring, too.
    Jesus, though, he might be a counter example. Or Rupert Brooke. I think that a New Yorker depends on an examined life. Most people have examined their life a little bit by the time they’re forty. And some who haven’t might have had their life examined by others. Zuckerberg just isn’t there.
    (And, I have to pass along a cite that says that people’s “happiness” quotients are u-shaped, peaking at about 20, decreasing until 50 or so, and then peak up again (based on a study where 300K people were surveyed on their happiness in 2008, not controlling for any other factor but age).

  4. Alexander had assumed the throne and conquered Asia Minor, the Levant, Syria, Egypt, Assyria and Persia by 26.
    And drunk himself by death by 32, which is probably harder than you’d think. Especially before anybody knew how to distill.

  5. I was reading Kropotkin’s autobiography, and got to the part where he had lead a troop of cossaks up a wild, uncharted river in Siberia on an official exploration. He then talked about how, as he’d just turned 19 (or maybe 20), he figured that he should probably go study at the university. I was almost too depressed to read more after that. I’m not even sure who this guy is, but I doubt he could compare.

  6. Well, your comment about Facebook bringing in traffic/new readers to your blog made me conclude that my already tiny blog is hopeless because I refuse to acknowledge its existence in fb.
    Mostly because I have a bunch (maybe 10-15) graduate school friends I’m in touch with in there. Even my advisor is my fb friend. And I’ve blogged extensively about graduate school. I wonder if anyone would go and read the archives, though (I do that, I’ve read part of yours e.g.). So… yeah, I’d rather continue my semi-anonymous blogging for a while longer while I sort out this semi-anonymity thing.
    I’m thinking that if we move to Atlanta I may decide to disclose my location fully & allow readers to find out my real name more easily if they so desire. Then, maybe I will lose my inhibitions about talking about the blog in facebook. OK, I’ll stop here, there’s more I want to say about this, so I’ll probably should go write a blog post.

  7. Supposedly Jesus didn’t start his ministry until he was 30, and none of the existing stories show more than a passing interest in anything that happened to him between the ages of 12 and whenever it was that he started preaching.
    So that’s another data point for “all 26-year olds lack material for a major profile” perhaps.

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