Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Lean In: Sheryl Sandberg Speaks at Stanford

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

“We need to get women to start out aiming big and staying in.”

One of the most daunting aspects of being a female in the technical fields is the dearth of female role models.

Growing up at my elementary school, I dreaded the inevitable biography book report.  I always got Marie Curie.  No slight to Madame Curie, but I couldn’t help but shudder to think that the only techy female role model my teachers could dig up for me died 80 years ago.  Painfully.  Of radiation poisoning.  The prospects seemed bleak for a ten-year-old girl who liked science.

Leading Ladies of Tech

Enter Sheryl Sandberg.  The Chief Operating Officer at Facebook and former vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, Sandberg is one of the most influential women in the world.  She and a new generation of women leaders in tech – like Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer (Stanford B.S. in SymSys) – have shown young women everywhere that female leadership is no mere possibility, but also a necessity for an egalitarian society.

Sandberg’s credentials make her a prime role model and spokesperson for the modern feminist movement.  Her modest autobiographical Twitter bio of “mother of 2, wife of awesome guy, friend to many great women” belies her professional accomplishments and impact.  After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard and receiving her MBA from Harvard Business School, she worked with the World Bank and served as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Treasury during the Clinton years.  She’s now #10 on Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women.

Sandberg only recently tackled issues of gender in leadership, but has done so with gusto.  Her famous TED Talk “Why we have too few women leaders” has over 2 million views, and her new book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead has been translated into 24 languages.

The Bad News

Sandberg opened the talk with a sobering description of the state of women in modern leadership.

The blunt truth is that men still run the world.  Unequivocally, no question about it.”


The Internet is Public

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

That shouldn’t be a shocking statement by now. 2012, specifically, was a year where the lines between what was private and public online were especially blurred. It raised questions about the privacy of minors and adults who are active in social media.  Writers for Jezebel made it nationally known how easy it was to use hashtags to find out who made racist comments about the president on  Twitter. Programmers and data scientists were able to come together and create a website called that tracks homophobic comments through Twitter as well. Taking a step back from the fact that all the things listed were offensive, this raises important questions about how much responsibility individuals should have for what they share on personal but public accounts.

In both the circumstances  listed above, Twitter hashtags were combined with nonexistent privacy settings  to create both the article and the website. The two projects listed above were only possible when the users left their profiles public. People have a right to be public online. They also have a right to say protected speech. Unfortunately, too many people have forgotten that the Internet is a sound box that records what you say and allows everyone on the Internet to replay it. Over and over again.  And unfortunately they chose to say very negative things.

But the investigative data mining that solely belonged to Twitter will now get its turn on Facebook. Facebook has started to roll out its new search engine, linking its users in a social graph. Through the new service you’ll be able to search for friends and connections through likes, comments, locations, photos and more.  On the outside, that actually seems pretty cool. I can look up all my friends who  live in my area that are fans of the beloved but short lived show named Pushing Daisies, just in case I want to have a heated discussion about it one day. The social graph can be seriously beneficial.


This Week In Stanford 5/15/12 – 5/21/12

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

This past week has been eventful! From talks with Tony Blair and Tom Brokaw to performances by E-40 and Modest Mouse, this has been a star studded week. Here’s this week’s news from the Farm.

  • Tony Blair recently paid a visit to our lovely campus. Despite a bit of protest, he was able to have a highly praised conversation about the African Governance Initiative with GSB Dean Garth Saloner.
  • The Frost Amphitheater has been revived. This past Saturday students sunbathed and waited to “Float On” with Modest Mouse.
  • Alumnus Konstantin Guericke wants to support the missing link in medicine. This co-founder of LinkedIn has just joined the board of the social network Doximity, which has a special focus on doctors.
  • Speaking of protests, 70 residents of XOX demonstrated in front of the Office of the Vice Provost of Student Affairs in order to make another effort to make a change in the decision to revoke the house’s lease.
  • The campaign for a new hospital is on! The Campaign for Stanford Medicine, which aims to raise $1 billion dollars in order to rebuild the hospital so that it reflects the future of patient care and medicine.
  • According to Professor Steve Blank, Facebook isn’t just taking over the Silicon Valley – it’s choking the region. Social media platforms like Facebook are preventing venture capitalists from investing in long term projects, like life sciences or hardware. What do you think?

This Week in Stanford 1/31/2012 – 2/6/2012

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

It’s cold outside, but things are heating up on campus. Or really buckling down. Despite dances, and tests, people have still found time to teach us a few, new interesting facts.

  • Stop reading this blog. Get off the Internet. Or at least tell this to your little siblings. The predictions that spending to much time online is bad for you seem to be valid.  New studies conducted at Stanford have found that multitasking online is harming the emotional and social health of preteens.
  • Those grossly exaggerated rumors about how many Stanford students find their spouses here may finally be in decline. Unfortunately, the death of marriage will probably more of an influence than any truths.  Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist here at Stanford, chimed in on why more singles than ever are disinclined or uncertain of whether they want to get married.
  • If you needed another reason to stay for Commencement, the Senior Class Presidents just announced this year’s speaker. The Class of 2012 will be  given a farewell speech by alum Cory Booker, current Mayor of Newark, NJ  and forever a Stanford football player and Rhodes Scholar. Do you have any thoughts on who the speaker  should be?
  • Despite its close proximity to our university, and our campus’s love of all things involving start ups, Stanford students believe Facebook will forever be a Harvard company. This is our  town. Why would we let the East invade? I think this topic should be up for debate.
  • Are you thinking of consulting or investment banking for your summer internship? Or are you going to Stop the Brain Drain happening at top universities? Alum Teryn Norris has started a campaign to highlight the fact that there are other options than the financial industry post-graduation for job-seeking students.
I’m sure more things happened around campus, but alas I have papers to write. If you have notable news, make sure to share it in the comments below!

Paved with Good Intentions

Friday, December 10th, 2010

You may have noticed some odd and pervasive behavior on the part of some of your Facebook friends this year.  January brought forth a sudden winter flurry of color statuses.  October launched a startlingly sexual series of “So-and-So likes it on the ________” statuses that made it look like many a good girl had gone bad.  Finally, this month the trend seems to be profile pictures consisting of favorite childhood cartoon characters.

The rationale for these trends is that they raise awareness for issues of health and social concern through Facebook’s powerful social media.  The first two ostensibly supported breast cancer awareness, while the latter supposedly promotes awareness for and support of child abuse survivors.  At first glance, these fads seem well-intentioned and, at worst, harmless.  However, it was upon waking up to the following status in my Facebook newsfeed that I took a closer look at these Facebook crazes:

[name omitted] does not understand how putting cartoon photos up has ANYTHING to do with violent abuse against children.  As a child abuse survivor, I don’t think that I ‘only see [happy] memories’ from these images; instead, they’re part and parcel of the pleasure and pain that was growing up with an abusive parent.”  Later on in the involved comment stream, another poignant phrase from this child abuse victim stuck out to me: “the point of the current meme is ostensibly ‘against’ child abuse, and as an abuse survivor, I find it isolating.”

Facebook users: you’re actually hurting the people you’re trying to support.

This isn’t to say that I have anything personally against the participants in these memes.  I’m sure that you all mean well.  But please reconsider your purported “activism” for the following reasons.

1.  Anonymity is confusing and counterproductive.

More often than not, Facebook “awareness” fads do little but to obfuscate the actual issues at hand.  I’m sure it’s very easy for the uninterested observer to dismiss these awareness efforts as merely another Facebook trend akin to the Doppelgänger phenomenon last year without recognizing their meaning.  Sure, the bra color thing tangentially related to breast cancer.  As an astute male friend of mine remarked, “at least with the bra color thing the average guy only took about 10^-13 seconds to get from bras to breasts.”  But remember, first guys had to sift through and interpret the dozens of random colors to even realize what the colors referred to.

Not-so-obvious awareness tactic

The purse thing directly counters common sense.  If anything, this particular fad intended to conceal the issues.  The Huffington Post cited the trend as a direct effort “to leave men in the dark,” and the Washington Post said “men are not supposed to know what it means.”  So we’re raising awareness by intentionally excluding half of the global population?  Great idea!  One commenter captured the awareness divide perfectly: “Yeah, that’s a great way to get men on board with breast cancer awareness month…alienate them.”  It additionally dilutes the importance of the awareness message: while breast cancer among men is significantly less frequent, men have much poorer survival rates and outcomes due to misdiagnosis.  All the more reason for men to be aware.


TUSB’s Facebook Contest Winners!

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Well, folks, the buzzer has sounded and the fat lady has sung. Our inaugural TUSB contest — fan the blog on facebook and be entered to win — has ended, and we have selected, notified, and prized our winners.

Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) staring intently at TUSB to see when the next contest will be.

That’s right, winners (plural): we had such a strong response to the contest that we decided to double the odds and select two winners. We randomly chose from among those who were fans of the blog on facebook by the contest deadline. We want to thank all of our Facebook supporters — as well as our readers of all shapes and sizes — for reading the blog. We also want to encourage you to “like” us on Facebook if you have not done so already, and/or follow us on twitter and RSS — these are not just ego-boosters for us bloggers but great ways to stay connected and not miss out on any of the great content.

Without further ado, our contest winners are:

Robbie S. and Gigi G!

Each of them has earned the $30 Amazon gift card prize. Congratulations to our winners! Stay tuned for our next contest, and keep reading and contributing to the blog.

-The TUSB Staff