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Randi Zuckerberg: losing face(book) to your little brother

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Mahesh Sharma

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Randi Zuckerberg outside a billboard for the Broadway show ''Rock of Ages'' where she played Regina.

Randi Zuckerberg outside a billboard for the Broadway show ''Rock of Ages'' where she played Regina. Photo: Twitter

Watching your little brother drop out of an esteemed Ivy-league college and still bank billions building the world's biggest social network must be tough. Especially when your start-up isn't half as influential.

But does this explain why Randi Zuckerberg's latest public appearance fell flat?

A Harvard graduate, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's older sister eventually took an advertising job with Ogilvy before joining Facebook's marketing department. Six years later, she cashed in her lucrative Facebook employee options after the company's $US100 billion stock listing, and went on to found the tech-lifestyle publication Dot Complicated.

Now Randi Zuckerberg is back in Australia.

On her way to espouse "the power of social networking" at the World Business Forum in Sydney on Wednesday, Ms Zuckerberg has already dropped in to an Australian Computer Society lunch in Melbourne on Monday and a Business Chicks breakfast in Adelaide on Tuesday, evangelising a future that pushes the boundaries of our imagination. 

Under the darkened ceiling of Melbourne's Crown Casino Palladium room, Ms Zuckerberg said we're living in "the age of the entre-employee" (meaning enterprising employees) and turning "FOMO [fear of missing out] into JOMO [joy of missing out]".

Bubbling with buzzwords like "life-logging", "maker movement" and "digital detox" she explained the top-10 tech trends via future-looking examples such as Chanel-handbag vending machines, apps highlighting the most opportune time in a film to relieve yourself, and nail polish that glows when there's a Wi-Fi connection available.

In her 2012 Australian visits, she sang the praises of the local talent, local initiatives and local food to a growing number of admirers.

As the latest attendees dined on the plush cuisine this week – pink steaks, braised chicken, and white chocolate globes garnished with cacao jelly – Ms Zuckerberg's revelations were also swallowed up whole.

Time passed, but patrons received no guidance on how  they could, like her, become a social-media mum answering calls from important people in the White House. (While she was at Facebook, President Obama requested a historic town-hall meeting be held on the site.)

Like the expensive two-course, five-star fare, her vision only felt attainable in the dreamy casino air of temporary luxury.

In the end, a discourse on her vision of the future had become her retrospective.

Her minutes-long introduction documented her few major, and many ordinary, achievements from the past 10 years (including completing college where Mark didn't) as well as a nostalgic recollection of Facebook, which sounded remarkably like the movie The Social Network.

Ms Zuckerberg gave the impression of an older sibling yearning for a brief golden era a decade ago  when, as an executive at a Manhattan ad agency, she outshone her then unaccomplished brother.

Last time she lectured Australians on social media's power she was followed to our shores by her father, a dentist.

Maybe Mark himself should make an appearance next.

4 comments

  • I hope nobody will tell me she's my hero!
    Personally she isn't!

    Commenter
    Gerson
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    May 28, 2014, 4:45PM
    • Why does Australia has to import her? Doesn't Australia has anyone who has some new bright ideas too?

      Commenter
      La La Land
      Date and time
      May 28, 2014, 6:36PM
      • what a nasty unpleasant story
        why the obsession with being massively successful and rich in whatever you do, at the expense of simply enjoying life?

        Commenter
        david
        Date and time
        May 28, 2014, 7:09PM
        • Not interested in these people. Facebook is narcissistic self indulged rubbish and the world would be better off without it.

          Commenter
          boring
          Date and time
          May 28, 2014, 8:08PM
          Comments are now closed