Author of “The Facebook Effect” to speak at TTU

Posted by Lori Shull - Friday, March 23 2012


thumb KirkpatrickThe average college student thinks they know a lot about Facebook. Yes, they can find and friend people, upload photos, and broadcast their location and relationship status. They do, after all, live a good portion of their lives on the site.

But longtime journalist and author David Kirkpatrick will be at Tennessee Tech University to tell them a few important things about the social networking site they don’t know.

“The lessons from Facebook are hugely relevant to all college students,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s changing the way we all relate to one another, and to understand how and why it’s doing that, you need to understand where it comes from and how founder Mark Zuckerberg things.”

Kirkpatrick is the first speaker in the 2012 Distinguished Lecture Series at the TTU College of Business. He will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, in the Ervin Auditorium on the first floor of Johnson Hall.

The talk is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question and answer session.

Author of the 2010 book The Facebook Effect, Kirkpatrick began following the massively successful website in 2006, before it expanded to allow anyone to join.

“David Kirkpatrick is someone who can talk about the technology of today and how students use it to interact,” said Cheryl Montgomery, development director for the TTU College of Business. “Facebook is something everyone has adopted into their daily routine.”

His first foray into the world of Facebook came when he was the senior editor for Internet and technology for Fortune magazine, when in October 2006 he wrote an article, “Why Facebook Matters.”

“They’ve succeeded in establishing the identity platform for the Internet,” Kirkpatrick said. “We are moving to a point where Facebook will allow us, no matter where we are and what we’re doing, to bring our friends with us to share experiences.”

Since Kirkpatrick’s first article, Facebook has expanded from 9 million users in the U.S. to nearly 1 billion internationally and has demonstrably proven that it matters.

The lessons people can take from the site’s success, according to Kirkpatrick, are almost as important as its international reach. During his talk, he will urge listeners to find something they are passionate about and focus on that, rather than making money.

“One of the most important things about Mark Zuckerberg and even Bill Gates, the reason these two guys have become two of the richest people in human history is because they didn’t do it for the money,” Kirkpatrick said. “They did it because they had a vision for how to make people’s lives better, and they believed in it passionately.”