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Zuckerberg's Language Analyzed: Really, Um, Interesting

Zuckerberg word cloud

Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to introduce some new Facebook features (which everyone's still trying to fully understand). As is our habit, we've peeked at his language skills. And they're, well....

Mark's introduction of Facebook's new features, his explanation of the recent Facebook team lock-down, the plans Facebook has for the future all took place in the weirdest location: Everyone who watched the live feed will have been bemused that a big press conference for a many-billion-dollar company with half a billion users around the world was held in what looked like a school canteen. But Mark is behind the site, it's driven by his ideas, his zeal for redefining what "user privacy" means in the modern age is shaping much of how Facebook evolves, and he's CEO of one of the most-watched companies in the world at the moment. So how he delivers his thoughts is important, right?

Um. Yes.

We took the first seven or eight minutes of his speech, and transcribed it (because there's no official transcription: What's up with that, Facebook? How are accessibility-limited Web users going to follow this stuff?). And there's the usual business buzzword crowd in there: Quality, developers, making, real, building, working, focused. "Social" was a popular one, but hey that's no surprise. "Slowly" was a word he used a lot, and that's a stand-out, particularly when you realize how often he said "slowly rolling out" new services (why not fast, Mark? If you've got the stuff, share it with everyone sooner rather than later?)


But then there's that big ol' clanging word in the middle of that word-cloud we've made. Did you spot it?

Is that a word that gets said much in The Social Network? Probably not a whole bunch. Is it important that a CEO of such a huge company has a credible public image? Yes, especially when the company is publicly owned. We're not saying Mark should ditch the crappy gray T-shirts and don a stiff business suit (in fact we're almost charmed by his geeky business trend-bucking) but for goodness' sake, Mark. Spend some of your millions on a public speech-making training course for yourself, will you?

To keep up with this news, follow me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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  • wildcatherder

    I've read this story three times and I still have no idea what you are talking about.
    Peay says you're writing about Zuckerberg not being charismatic.
    Are you talking about the word "Um"? Then SAY SO. Isn't that what being a writer is about - not slyly oblique references.

  • Stephanie Peay

    He's not uber successful because he's a charismatic speaker, let him do what he knows best! You know what I'm saying? LOL