Friday, June 22, 2012

Has Facebook Peaked?

The IPO of Facebook has thus far lead to the company’s inevitable decline. People are beginning to have negative thoughts about the world’s largest social network, in part, because of how the stock has tumbled since its launch last month.  Facebook had an eight-year run of wild growth and spectacular media attention. But now, as a publicly traded company, it is under greater scrutiny and speculation. Suddenly, the Internet’s darling has been devalued and downgraded. What happened?

Reality set in.

It is no coincidence it happened now. The IPO was purposely launched at a time when Facebook felt it had reached its zenith, hoping to cash out before the odds of probability kicked in. What goes up, must come down. Especially in the world of technology saturation. Eventually something as good as FB or an iphone reaches a saturation point. How much more growth is left with FB?

The number of unique visitors to the leading social networking site registered a 5% increase in April 2012 from a year earlier – to 158 million Americans. The prior two years showed 24% and 89% growth. Eventually, growth will be flat and as new things come to the market, FB will see a decrease in connections.

FB is used by 71% of all 221 million US Internet users, according to comScore. People are on FB longer than any other site. People spend an average of six hours per month on FB vs. 4 hours on Google sites (includes You Tube) and 3 ½ hours on Yahoo sites.

Still, the amount of time spent on FB, though it grew by 16% and 57% in the two prior years.

Even if nothing better comes along to compete with FB, just how much time can one really spend on FB? Eventually one has to live life and not just track down people they dumped 15 years ago. There is a world beyond mindless, self-absorbed chatter – isn’t there?

Regardless of FB’s inevitable decline it still has some growth left and it is still the dominant home for Web surfers and socializers. Every author and publisher must have a FB strategy and execute it well, or they may just find themselves making MySpace and Friendster connection requests.

FB’s fate will be determined in the coming years when they are forced to make significant profits by Wall Street. Will they start charging for usage or sell sponsorships and ad space in some intrusive way? Will they merge with another company? Probably all of the above, but for now FB is a rich marketplace ripe for communicating to potential consumers about your book, so get on the site and participate while it is peaking in popularity.

Interview With Roger Frame, Ph.D., Award-Winning Author

1.      What is your new book about? Don't Carve the Turkey with a Chainsaw: Resolving Family Conflict is an award winning book that provides powerful tips to deal with conflict.  One style of conflict management for all situations is no more appropriate than one style of clothing for all situations.   Just as you wouldn't wear a bikini to the prom or a tux to work in the garage you shouldn't use one style of conflict resolution for all situations.  The book provides practical and sometimes humorous advice on how to effectively communicate with your partners.  It explains why conflict escalates during the teen years and what to do about it.  It discusses subtle nuances that can make or break effective communication.

2.      What inspired you to write it?  I was one of the first people certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Family Mediator, but all my mediation and counseling training did not prepare me to deal with conflicts that arose when my own son reached adolescence.  So I researched the topic and found things that substantially improved my relationships with him and others.  I use the information myself every day.

3.      What are the rewards/challenges to the writing process? It is very rewarding to hear that the book has helped others improve their life, and to receive awards that affirm the quality of my work.  It is challenging to learn how to market a book so others know about it.

4.      Any advice for a struggling writer?  It will take three times as long as you anticipate, 3 times as expensive to produce, and 3 times a rewarding if you can get good exposure.  Many people say that a book is an expensive calling card for other activities you may do that generate the income.

5.      Where do you see book publishing heading?  Certainly more and more books are being published independently.  That means that it is easier to get the book out there in the form that you want.  It also means that there is much more competition to get noticed.  Print on demand helps reduce production costs, but I'm told that bookstores are unlikely to stock print-on-demand books.  E-books cut the production costs even more, but it is difficult to monitor if you are actually getting paid for all the books that are sold.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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