Monday Grok: Facebook’s valuation, did the music just stop?

Your Facebook ID card, Google kills Buzz, iPad 3.

All year Facebook has marched relentlessly towards a valuation of $US100 billion dollars with little consideration of the madness this may speak to for the investor markets in dotcom 2.0.

But it seems at last that a little reason has prevailed. While valuations haven’t turned south, the supply of punters ready to stump up ever more dollars per share on secondary markets has.

According to Michael Arrington's Uncrunched blog, “The auctions have continued, but there haven’t been the dramatic price increases or decreases needed to trigger the rabid coverage. But today, for the first time I believe, SecondMarket was unable to clear any shares at all in the auction."

Arrington says the thing to watch now is whether the market for buyers returns in the next week or so, or whether investors start to cash out in the lower $20s. If he’s right get set for plenty of screaming headlines about Mark Zuckerberg’s tumbling fortunes.

So what to do about such a slap in the face if you're Facebook and don’t want to lose, you know, face. You get out the pencil and notepad and start taking names, pronto.

Now, pencils are such old world technology. Not cool at all.

But you know what’s cool, tracking every individual on the matrix via their own unique, RFID-enabled personal identification card. Well, it's cool in that totalitarian nightmarish kind of way.

According to Techcrunch a recent Facebook patent application suggests Facebook might just be thinking of ways to help you remember who you are (and more importantly to remind you who knows where the bodies are buried.)

The story says the patent application includes “business card and identity card design services, printing services and the ominous, facilitating social and business networking through the provision of data for use on its own business and identity cards.”

It’s tough being Zuckerberg: All the love he shares and yet he still gets a bad rap on the privacy front. Can’t imagine why that could be, although this little infographic courtesy of Wordstream, called the Facebook Wall of Shame, might help explain it. It is reportedly an email exchange between Zuckerburg and a colleague in the very early days of the social network.

Zuck: So if you ever need any info about anyone at Harvard just ask. I have over 4000 emails, addresses, pictures, SNS.

Colleague: What. How did you manage that one?

Zuck: I don’t know why. They “trust me”. Dumb f***s.”

Google kills the Buzz

Seems that someone (probably the Google CFO) agrees with Grok’s assessment on Friday that Google’s most recent quarterly result could have been a little more investor friendly. In its company blog Google announced the cancellation of a slew of developments and services, although there was none of the usual hand-wringing commentary companies normally provide at such moments about a return to core business. That’s because when your company is owned and managed by engineers, development is your core business. Never mind that to the rest of us it looks like the search engine is core business by virtue of the fact that that’s where the vast majority of the money comes from.

According to Hot Hardware, "Terrible news for everyone (i.e., almost no one, apparently) that used Buzz, Code Search, Google Labs, Jaiku, iGoogle’s social features, and the University Research Program for Google Search: Google is killing them off.”

The most prominent service was Google Buzz, its first failed slap-down against Facebook.

In a sense the Buzz outcome was the most predictable as the company has chosen to focus on Google+. Grok can’t help feeling however that the buzz is already fading from Plus. Maybe they need more syllables.

Cranking up the iPad 3

Finally, it wouldn’t be Monday without an Apple rumour, this time courtesy of Readwriteweb, which notes: “The next iteration of Apple's hot-selling tablet is reportedly entering production according to one analyst. Supply chain clues point to total of 600,000 iPad builds before the end of the year. Presumably, Apple will unveil the new device at some point in the first half of 2012."

Andrew Birmingham is the CEO of Silicon Gully Investments. He was about to buy an iPad 2 but now he’s not so sure. Follow him on Twitter: @ag_birmingham.