Paul E. Anna: High Points |

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

As we are two hours behind the market opening in New York, the NASDAQ trades on Facebook’s IPO have likely already begun by the time you read this. Based on the frenzy and the publicity that have been generated this week, the offering is almost guaranteed to be a first-day home run. Even though the overall market has been on a downward trend recently, there are suggestions that by the end of the day Facebook could hold the record for biggest IPO ever.

Whether this is the high watermark in Facebook history or just the beginning of a new phase for the company, remains to be seen. But there is no doubt that its growth is amongst the most amazing stories of our lifetime. Launched on Feb. 4, 2004, just over eight years ago, Facebook now has more than 900 million registered users. Basically 1 in every 7 people on earth has signed up for Facebook. In the United States, 152 million of our 313 million residents has an account. Facebook has proliferated like a weed, and with the cash it will receive it would seem that those numbers will only increase.

I have a Facebook account and, while I don’t check it daily, I am there a few times a week. What interests me the most is that I am able to keep up with the goings on of people who I am “friends” with in the Facebook sense, but am not really “friends” with in the real world sense, if you know what I mean? There are people, especially people in this valley, who I have met but hardly know, who I have “friend-ed,” and who I now know more about than I do my own family.

Among my local Facebook “friends” who live here are a local media personality who has been going through a relationship failure that he has publicly shared, a mom of four who has clued me in the daily details of each of her children, a musician who feels compelled to share his every play list with me and an outdoor enthusiast who makes sure I know every step he takes and every trail that he takes it on. I saw one of these people the other day in a local watering hole and I felt like I didn’t need to have a conversation with them because I already knew everything they had been doing.

But there are great things that I learn whenever I go on the site. The photos of Amanda Boxtel walking in New York were exceptionally exciting. I love the Dog Bless You greetings and a sign from Sayulita posted this week that encouraged us all to take a few minutes and enjoy life each day was especially appreciated. Then there are the surprises. People who I have long forgotten about suddenly come back to life on my computer screen, and events in other cities that I would never know about become reality. It can truly be life changing.

I don’t know how Facebook will change now that it has shareholders, but it assuredly will. Shareholders will expect a return for their investment and Facebook will have to do something to give it to them.

It will be interesting to watch.

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