The Human Side of Zuck

Articles pop up all the time about the importance of social media for C-suite executives. It’s a great promotion tactic for thought leadership, helps humanize a brand, and at its core, it’s a great way to network.

Enter Mark Zuckerberg, the 32-year-old CEO and Co-Founder of Facebook. I have a combined fascination and appreciate for Zuckerberg; in many ways, he paved the way for my career in social media strategy with the launch of Facebook. What’s fascinating though is his personality; he’s a textbook developer whose success has thrust him into the limelight since Facebook’s launch in 2004.

I work with a lot of digital people — most of whom would join me in a collective eye roll at being labeled “creatives.” The faces of our web design and development team are pretty fabulous, and while they’re definitely social, their work is so screen-centric that I find myself chatting with them on gchat or via e-mail more than in person.

Mark Zuckerberg didn’t strike me as much different — as a developer, but also as a CEO. He regularly updates his personal Facebook feed with major brand milestones, all of them so perfectly on-brand and message — ie: clearly vetted by someone on his comms team.

But here’s what special, and where he breaks free from the mold: he embraces the innovations that he’s invested in. From Oculus to Instagram, Zuckerberg has started to add a deeper layer of personality to his updates. Since adding dad to his resume, he’s even offered subscribers of his feed a glimpse into the life of his beautiful daughter Maxima.

Alongside Facebook’s investment in virtual reality, its not-so-new Live feature is perhaps one of the most important for the channel, and one that Zuckerberg has really embraced. My favorite broadcast was one that he aired before Sunday’s debate. Zuckerberg streamed live from his Palo Alto backyard, where he was drinking sparkling water and smoking meats. Commenters, myself included, began to dub the broadcast #GrillTalk, and I sincerely hope it takes off.

While Zuckerberg isn’t the only Facebook exec that I follow (I recommend following along with Boz and Ruchi Sanghvi, too!), I think he’s a game changer for C-suite execs who are open to letting the public in a little.





I work in publishing and have a deep-rooted love for the written word. That said, I have almost always preferred to read a printed text as opposed to print on screen. When the news grew more readily and accurately available online, and when my parents opted to switch from dial-up Internet to a cable modem, I slowly migrated toward digital reading. Still, the pace with which I could read text on a screen was significantly slower than what I could accomplish with a hard copy, and it wasn’t until I purchased my iPad that I seriously entertained the idea of downloading an eReader app (as opposed to forking over more money for a separate device). I opted for the Kindle App, but also downloaded the Apple app, iBooks. Having considered the factors beyond text readability, including price, availability of books, speed of download, etc., I have to say that I really prefer the Kindle app. I’ve  noticed that many titles are significantly cheaper than in the iBooks store, and it’s linked to my Amazon account, which I appreciate.

On my trip back from Baltimore this weekend, I wanted to read instead of watch a movie, so I purchased I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, by Giulia Melucci. It downloaded in mere seconds, cost less than $10, and was super clear to read on my iPad.

Go with the Kindle app. Just do it.

Reel Life Nostalgia

I’ve always had a soft spot for going to the movies, and today, I started to examine how the experience of “going to the show” has changed.

At work today, I talked with a colleague about emerging technology and the film industry. I remember being in junior high school, with my now-ancient Nokia phone, wondering if movie tickets and show times would ever be mobilized.

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Operation Underground: Slow and steady wins the race

After four months commuting between Astoria and Midtown, I have adjusted well to the idea of not having WiFi while underground. Certain metro stations throughout the country have deals with different carriers to provide some sort of connectivity, but New York fell behind in the times. Until now.

Mashable released a story on July 30 announced (via Bloomberg) that Transit Wireless LLC will be slowly but surely outfitting the NYC’s underground with WiFi connectivity. They make note that it will not likely reach whole tunnels, but parts of them, as well as the platforms.

While they take their sweet time to reach Astoria, I’ll likely stick to playing Scrabble on my iPhone.