There is astounding hype surrounding the pending IPO of the mammoth Facebook, and it seems that no journalistic endeavour is immune from crafting the most insane commentary in order to cash in on the hype of this most unprecedented dot-com event, and the estimable New York Times is apparently no exception. Andrew Ross Sorkin has crafted a missive titled "Those Millions on Facebook? Some May Not Actually Visit," in which he takes issue with the method by which Facebook counts a user as "active."
Facebook counts as “active” users who go to its Web site or its mobile site. But it also counts an entire other category of people who don’t click on facebook.com as “active users.” According to the company, a user is considered active if he or she “took an action to share content or activity with his or her Facebook friends or connections via a third-party Web site that is integrated with Facebook.”
This calculation baffles Mr. Sorkin, along with, presumably, where the bread goes when the toast pops up. Why does this perfectly straightforward metric stun Mr. Sorkin, between his presumed bouts of being afraid of the dark?
In other words, every time you press the “Like” button on NFL.com, for example, you’re an “active user” of Facebook. Perhaps you share a Twitter message on your Facebook account? That would make you an active Facebook user, too. Have you ever shared music on Spotify with a friend? You’re an active Facebook user. If you’ve logged into Huffington Post using your Facebook account and left a comment on the site — and your comment was automatically shared on Facebook — you, too, are an “active user” even though you’ve never actually spent any time on facebook.com.
It baffles Mr. Sorkin that when someone actively engages with Facebook's systems, Facebook considers that user to be active. What stunning ignoramity! What gall!
Surely, young Mark Zuckerberg must be surrendering himself into police custody, even now. How dare he?
Whither journalistic integrity, Mr. Sorkin? Whither your frontal lobe?
Gather round, denizens of the webinnical, and bear witness to the endlessly cunning intellect and inscrutable debating tactics of Mr. John Gruber, he of the bafflingly estimable Daring Fireball, as he tears apart a recent rumor that Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturer responsible for constructing much of Apple's computerized products, are already gearing up for what will most definitely be an impressively large production run.
The title of Mr. Gruber's post is "Too Soon," and the response to these rumors, staggering in its length and thoughtfulness, extensive in its cross-referencing and footnotery, bewildering in its insight and alacrity, is the epically lengthened 'No, it's not.'
'No, it's not.'
Such wit upon you, sir! My goodness, brains such as yours, so overstuffed into your cranium, surely are being wasted reporting on such inconsequentialities as Apple production rumors. No! Yours is an intellect best employed in the changing of cultural tides, of embracing and englightening scientific viewpoints. Yours should be the sacred task of importance, of aligning the planet to progress, sir! You should be employed by the religious and psuedo-religious organizations tasked with eschewing the ideals of science, backed up with mere centuries of endlessly consistent evidence, that evolution is a fact. Surely, you could tear down any testimony on the fact, from any expert, on any level, with but a merest twitch of your lips.
Hapless Scientist: 'Evolution is a fact, supported by 150 years of scientific research, which we have just spent the past eighteen days recounting in staggering detail.'
John Gruber: 'No, it's not.'
Newspaper, the next day: 'Evolution disproven!'
Congratulations on your intellect, Mr. Gruber, so towering that all around must most assuredly be encloaked in darkness every moment of the day. Kudos!