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An important piece of news was revealed yesterday, as Facebook purchased FriendFeed for a total of $50 million - $15 million in cash and $35 million in Facebook stock, which Mashable reported is worth about $6.5 billion. Facebook has apparently discussed joining forces with Friendfeed since 2007 and this deal only came about after an acquisition attempt by Twitter reportedly fell through. Though this joining of forces cost quite a sum, according to TechCrunch, Facebook also acquired the Friendfeed team, which includes ex-Googlers such as Paul Buchheit, Bret Taylor, Jim Norris, and Sanjeev Singh.

Though Facebook has already based many aspects of the News Feed off of FriendFeed, FriendFeed is superior in several ways and will certainly enrich the News Feed experience for Facebook users.

On FriendFeed, stories appear and then re-appear at the top of the feed as new users make comments on them, and updates occur as they happen. Facebook’s feed has to be manually refreshed.This acquisition allows for the integration of popular social networking sites, including Twitter, because it enables users to continue conversations or exchanges from Twitter to Facebook, or even use the two interchangeably.

People are now able to comment on a tweet through Facebook and leave a longer comment than they could on Twitter due to the 140-character limit. Instead of Twitterers and Facebookers using one or both separately, users can also publish their Twitter stream to either FriendFeed or Facebook, which means Facebook and Twitter can pretty much be used interchangeably.

According to Marketing VOX, it is likely that Facebook will see improved integration between its community of users, as well as Twitter users, through Friendfeed’s more open interface and the flexibility Facebook offers. It will be interesting to see if these two social networking communities will maintain some level of distinction, or continue to merge.

A “How I See It” Op-Ed that I wrote was published today in Mass High Tech.  The topic is on leveraging our local academic institutions to keep New England competitive in the new media space.

Oh, and I got a sweet new head shot out of the deal

I’ve recently graduated from business school and entered the field of new-media marketing, yet I’m continually surprised that many of the ideas I’m faced with professionally every day had not been a part of my MBA curriculum — not a mention of new-media strategies, ideas or tools in any of my courses. There was no mention of such things as collaborative gaming products, no discussion of free user platforms supported by advertising, or content management and thought leadership, or the software-as-a-service business model. And there was no discussion of new ways to communicate with customers or the great shifts in consumer behavior that have occurred and still are occurring.


I have to tell you, the Dalai Lama is one of those people that I would put on my “If-you-could-ever-meet” lists, and I don’t even really make those lists. My essay into graduate school included the question “what would you do with a million dollars,” to which I responded, “I would buy every leader of every country a copy of The Art of Happiness”….. at least I got in.

I recently came across a quote by “the Lama” that I’ve heard a few times and am encouraged to respond to. I’ve seen him speak on three occasions and they have been some of the most memorable moments I can remember.

[As a disclaimer, I'm staying away from political opinions at this point, as I would likely end up writing an essay on subject.]

“Dream— nothing!” says the Dalai Lama. This quote is great, and let me tell you why.

What he’s getting at is the implicit meanings behind the words “dream.” I don’t disregard the many positive ways in which the word “dream” is used to motivate. I think is a meaningful word to use. But the way in which the Dalai Lama uses this phrase (on a regular basis) is somewhat telling.

To him, dreaming is not enough. I would agree that the word dream implies a sort of passive wishfulness, one that does not necessarily incite action. It includes hope, but what else? Yes, I think that common, “Dream big things” phrases are very inspiring, to some. But maybe it takes more than just dreaming.

Does dreaming include responsibility? If you’re dreaming, are you willing to take the action required to “make your dreams come true?” This is what the Dalai Lama was getting at: it takes more than dreaming. It takes recognizing the effective elements in your dream, and executing them. Whether they be for your business, for the good of humanity, or for the preservation of self.

Whether it be the autonomy of Tibet, the peacefulness of the world, the meaning of your life, or simply the tackling of the day, are you just dreaming? Or are you moving actively in the direction of making your “dreams come true?”

Dream of nothing. Strive for everything.

Maybe Nike could make a shoe out of it

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