Today marks the ninth birthday of Facebook, a social media site so ubiquitous that it seems it must have been around forever instead of less than a decade.
Facebook has grown from a handful of users in 2004 to more than a billion participants and more than 4,000 employees as of December 2012.
Created by Mark Zuckerberg and several other Harvard University friends in a dorm room, Facebook was originally intended to serve just the university’s student population.
It was also originally known as “Facemash,” but, thankfully, the name evolved.
Later, membership included other colleges and universities in the greater Boston area. From there, it expanded to all colleges and universities, then to all high schools and, finally, to anyone in the world over the age of 13.
The statistics on Facebook are staggering, usually measured in terms of millions and billions at the end of 2012:
n An average of 618 million daily active users.
n An average of 680 million monthly active users who use Facebook mobile products.
n More than 30 billion pieces of information are shared each month.
n Just more than 250 million photos are uploaded daily.
The average Facebook user spends more 700 minutes per month at the site, has 130 friends and creates 90 pieces of content each month.
Every 20 minutes on Facebook a million links are shared, 2 million Friend requests are made and 3 million messages are sent.
While the United States has the most users per nation (165 million), about 70 percent of all Facebook users are outside the U.S.
Needless to say, Facebook's pervasive presence has its supporters and detractors.
Facebook is either a heaven sent platform for linking the world together or a tool of the devil designed to eliminate privacy and fracture national cohesiveness.
To learn more about Facebook’s history, statistics and impact, try the following websites:
The World of Facebook
Facebook History (Wikipedia)
100 Social Media Stats
Sunday marked the 54th anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of rock ’n’ roll singers Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper.
On Feb. 3, 1959, the singers were flying from a performance in Clear Lake, Iowa, to Fargo when their small plane went down in snowy weather.
Holly's life and death reverberates through rock music to this very day. His music influenced The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, Talking Heads and scores of other bands and artists.
A movie abvout his life (“The Buddy Holly Story”) ranks among the best of all rock biopics.
The best websites for authoritative information, photos and more about the singers and the plane crash include:
Buddy Holly Anniversary
The Day The Music Died
Buddy Holly (Google)
(Keith Darnay has worked in the online world for more than a decade, the traditional media world for a few decades more and manages the online department and website for the University of Mary. His own site, featuring this column going back to 1995, is at www.darnay.com.)