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<nettime> precorporation
Greg Elmer on Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:43:35 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> precorporation


This is a short paper I wrote a couple months back. It builds on Mark
Fisher's notion of 'precorporation'. His tremendous insights will be
missed. /Greg


*Precorporation: Or what financialization can tell us about the histories
of the Internet *



Greg Elmer


 Most conversations about the history of an internet platform, protocol,
website, or company invariably begins (or ends) with some variation of the
following: “what? It’s been that long?” And I’m not dating myself here
either. Even so-called millennials are prone to remark upon the speed that
platforms emerge and disappear, how apps take off in popularity and use
(think *Pokémon Go*), and then seemingly disappear overnight (*Vine *being
the dead platform at the time of writing). Such is internet history as
understood from an accelerationalist position (Crary 2014, Wajcman 2016),
where the history of the internet is constantly in flux, waiting for the
next big thing.



On the other end of the spectrum, the vitality of accelerationalism is
killed quite spectacularly by some media “archaeologists” (Gitelman 2015,
Parikka, 2012), who offer us a steady stream of dead technologies that
Raymond Williams (1978) maintains contain some residual qualities. Such
internet histories are more apt to view bots as zombie actors, conducting
the frighteningly banal, expensive, and time consuming work of the net.
Moreover, the digging down through the layers and histories of the internet
reminds us of the impact of supposedly dead technologies on the viability
of human existence (eg. the anthroposcene).



“The end of history” is of course just as popular today among conservative
thinkers (Fukayama 2016), as critics of modern technology and economic
systems. In the latter case, we find theorists such as Franco Berardi
(2009) and Bernard Stiegler (2014) offering critiques of internet platforms
and practices as contributing to the death of the imagination, and thus the
end of progressive possibilities and alternatives in the future.



But for most students and scholars of history, the question of continuities
looms largest, and ‘longest’ – and in some respects mirrors the abundance
of information, opinions, and perspectives offered on the internet. In this
classic view of history, where we often see the internet added last to a
long list of electronic based communication technologies (Winston 1998),
the expanse of history is quilted together by various technological
similarities, social effects, and design affordances.



Contributing to these historical approaches to technology and the internet,
this short paper makes the case for a view of internet histories that
recurs as in the classical view, but at a distinct – and early – period in
the development of internet companies. This paper, in other words, argues
for f*inancialized* internet histories, that is when an internet company’s
user policies, services, interfaces, and ultimately business models are
developed with an eye to large-scale financial investment (from both
institutional and ‘public’ investors). These ‘micro-histories’ of internet
companies, typically anywhere from two to four years in length, are not
without precedent in the field of internet and social media studies. The
constant updating of world wide web browsers from Netscape, then later
Microsoft explorer and Google Chrome, likewise can be broken down in
distinct and short historical periods where the prominence of various
functions such as indexes, customized search tools, and add-on apps are
date stamped as ‘versions’ (1.0, 1.2 and so forth).[1] <#_ftn1> The same
periodization could be conducted on search engines.[2] <#_ftn2> We could
also reimagine and moreover rewrite the early years of the web through the
micro-histories of mass consumer internet service providers (ISPs) such as
American Online & CompuServe, services that constantly redesigned their
interfaces to grow fee paying users. More recently Niels Brügger (2015)
outlines a history of the Facebook platform that is broken down into four
distinct period beginning with 2004-2006, providing “…an outline of a
history of one single element of Facebook, namely the textual and
interactive media environment that users can see and interact with on the
web site and on mobile media”. (ibid) Such micro-histories thus provide
insight into how the platform redefined its core services visible on its
user interface.



Following Brügger’s Facebook case study, this paper likewise posits a slice
of the Facebook company’s history, but it is argued one far more distinct
and instrumental than the rest – the years immediately preceding the
company’s listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange on May 18, 2012.  It is my
contention that the years immediately preceding a company’s listing on
stock exchange markets such as the technology heavy NASDAQ and others
offers a condensed view on the development of commercially driven internet
enterprises. Political economists would typically define this period in
time as a process of corporate financialization, which at its most basic
level aims to provide vast amounts of capital to internet companies.[3]
<#_ftn3> Such pre-marketized histories offers tremendous insight into how
internet companies are fundamentally restructured in advance of ‘going
public’. Such periods witness structural changes in the business models of
companies as a signal to markets about their future sustainability and
moreover prospective profits. In short a historical study of the finances
of internet companies helps to understand in both broad and increasingly
granular terms the business model of internet companies today, and by
extension the associated concerns with the economic value and
sustainability of companies (stemming from the dot com bubble of 2000), the
ethical transgressions of companies (privacy, and data discrimination), and
the social impact of internet based communications and networking on
various communities and demographics.



*From Incorporation to Precorporation*



Mark Fisher (2009) notes that the term “incorporation” is typically used to
highlight the early transformation of businesses into legally recognized
institutions such as limited companies, partnerships, or corporations. The
history of negotiations, funding, and in some instances the actors involved
in establishing the terms of incorporation are fundamental to understanding
the goals, mission, and structure of corporations, and their core business
model. But Fisher goes one step further, preferring the term
*precorporation*, to describe the periods in time where a set of legal,
political, and economic conventions establish the *prospects* (the
‘future-look’) of a company. Moreover, the precorporate view of internet
company histories emphasizes the moments where businesses must be ‘sold’ –
perhaps ‘pitched’ is a better term – to investors. As a result, in addition
to the years preceding stock market listing – the period of ‘going public’
– *precorporate histories *might also include the early years of a
companies formation, where partners, angel investors, or other technology
companies often make important initial investments in a company to allow it
to explore business models. In this respect, the company prospectus often
serves as the penultimate precorporate document, where at various stages in
the capitalization of a firm, the business model, philosophy, and source of
financial value, going forward, is articulated to prospective partners and
investors. (Dror 2015, Elmer, 2015)



The *precorporate *view of internet histories thus argues that the process
of financialization serves a unique motivating factor in the histories of
not only internet companies, but of the internet as a whole – that there
are common processes established in the process of financialization of
internet companies. In what follows I detail albeit briefly a set of common
and intersecting political and economic processes and trajectories that
inform the precorporate years of internet financialization, with a
principle focus again on the Facebook company. It is my contention that the
sum of these trajectories, ultimately condensed into the most intense years
of precorporate financialization of internet companies, provide fundamental
answers to a host of questions concerning the historical change in internet
customs, practices, interfaces, platforms, and ultimately business models.



These intersecting trajectories can be summarized into three categories.
First, by focusing on the financialization of the internet, I am explicitly
calling attention to the core value proposition of networked computing,
what is the business model of the internet, and exactly what will lead to
the generation of profits and/or value for stock holders? During moments of
precorporation, in other words, investors of all stripes are often invited
to imagine the future possibilities of unproven and untested technologies.
In short, where was the financial value proposition in social networking?



The second trajectory, closely follows this process of imagining financial
value. As the dotcom gold rush cascaded forwarded, leading to the dot-bomb
market crash of 1999-2000, precorporate histories of the internet also
become governmental stories, highlighting the rules that dictate the
conditions of precorporate promotions, offers, ‘pitches’, and trades.
Indeed while much has been written about the collaborative genesis of the
Arpanet, the precursor to the internet (Abate, 1999), But Brian Murphy
(2002) reminds us that since the late 1990s the internet has been governed
as a for-profit commercial sphere. Murphy traces the work of Vice President
Al Gore, as he shepherded a series of government bills that would place
control of the internet in the hands of the private sector. Murphy writes:
”The final link in the chain of enabling legislation came with the
Communications Act of 1996. The new law governing the operations of all
media in the United States affirmed that “the Market will drive both the
internet and information highway”. (p. 31)



Lastly, precorporation helps us to understand the shaping of the internet
itself through the projections and properties of its leading companies, the
scarce interface of the Google search engine, Facebook’s prompting social
network site, and Twitter’s endless vertical ticker, to name just three of
the more successful sites. That is to say that precorporation reshapes and
reforms not only the corporate structure of internet companies, and where
it sets up its head offices and houses its workers, it also reshapes the
relationships it has with its own work force, users and non-users.



*Facebook’s Precorporate Era*



On the question of economic value, a fundamental component that
communications and internet based companies often face during the years of
precorporation is the process of convincing investors to part with their
money. And as I have previously detailed in an early study of the Marconi
company, this is not a contemporary phenomenon (Elmer 2015). Like Marconi’s
wireless business, internet and social media companies like Facebook face
unique questions concerning the *immateriality* of their core business –
what is it that they are proposing to sell? To make a profit from?
Marconi’s “apparatus” as it was initially dubbed, for instance, was
commonly pitched as a  ‘magical’ or otherworldly advance in science, making
communications in essence not only disappear but travel vast distances. But
concrete applications of the invention took years to establish and thrive.
(ibid) For companies like *Facebook*, while perhaps not as dramatic as
wireless communications, the question of value remains immaterial and
elusive for most critics and market watchers. Indeed, the company’s
prospectus, again the key document that was used to sell the company’s
future financial viability and worth to investors and the market, was
revised six times to answer this very question. (Blodget 2012). In each
instance, revisions were sought by market regulators and financial
underwriters (Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs), so as to
sharpen the case for how the company was going to make money. While most
recognized that ad sales would lead the way for Facebook, revisions to the
prospectus also noted the role of the company’s recently developed “social
graph” algorithm – in conjunction with the roll out of a mobile platform -
would enhance the company’s future financial prospects.[4] <#_ftn4>



Earlier rounds of capitalization of Facebook, similarly invoked the process
of imagining and rewriting the core value of the company. This moment in
the history of Facebook was dramatically represented in director David
Fincher’s cinema story of the rise of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, *The
Social Network*. In one of the key scenes in the film, Zuckerberg and
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Savarin discuss strategies with former Napster
co-founder Sean Parker, to sell their vision of Facebook to angel
investors, financing that would effectively launch the company and provide
much needed resources to develop the company’s platform.

While the process of seeking investment is mostly clearly associated with
the process of financialization (seeking investment through the stock
market), almost all internet companies share a precorporate period of
external capitalization and investment, often by these so-called “angel
investors”, or by other larger digital media and software companies like
Google and Microsoft, who take a small stake or ownership in the emerging
firm. Such histories are often hidden from the public’s view, and only
revealed years later. But such moments of precorporation place an important
emphasis on visions and visionaries (leaders) within the emerging company,
and conversely potential constraints and pressures exerted upon the company
by early investors.



Next, with regards to the process of economic regulation, the years of
precorporation are closely attuned to market regulations of the day, the
rules that define the responsibilities and processes that incorporated and
so-called “public” companies must follow.  The precorporate view of
internet histories in other words, must also be viewed as a history of
corporate governance, both in terms of what pressures have produced market
regulations and company law (banking crises, market crashes, widespread
fraud, etc), and conversely how companies themselves actively play a role
in co-producing (interpreting) pre-existing and evolving laws and
regulations.



For Facebook the writing and rewriting of the company’s prospectus was
chiefly governed by the US Securities Act, and overseen by the Securities
and Exchange Commission.[5] <#_ftn5> This moment of precorporation however
proved to be a major embarrassment for Facebook as it was later revealed
that while the publicly available prospectus was shared with investors and
the public, warnings about future growth being stifled by the as yet
unproven mobile platform was only shared with institutional investors.[6]
<#_ftn6>



In addition to questions of immaterial value, IPO sales, and market
regulation, this last section highlights how Facebook used its precorporate
years, specifically 2008-2012, leading up to the NASDAQ IPO, to reconfigure
its relationship with workers and its user base to intensify its efforts to
collect social networking data. The first thing to note about Facebook as
an employer is that unlike tech firms like Apple and some internet based
firms like Amazon and Google, leading up to the IPO Facebook employed a
startlingly low number of staff, roughly 3000. This made Facebook’s per
worker company valuable – meaning the ration of staff per value of the
company – nearly five times greater than Apple or Google. But this figure
is somewhat mis-leading, as Derek Thompson (2012) noted in *The Atlantic *a
few months prior to the IPO: “…Facebook's workforce isn't just 3,000
employees, but also 835 million users, who create information that is
valuable to advertisers, and therefore valuable to Facebook…” What’s more,
in 2011 it was revealed that Facebook also data mines *non*-Facebook users,
that is those individuals who have not expressly opened an account on the
platform.[7] <#_ftn7> Such “ghost or shadow profiles” thus highlight how
the intensification of data collection by Facebook was not  restricted to
its user base.



This is not to suggest however that a precorporate Facebook was turning
away from collecting ever more granular information and data points on its
users. Returning to the work of Brügger above, the process of
precorporation in internet companies, is commonly synonymous with rapid
changes in interfaces and user services that in the case of Facebook
represent a more intensified period of user surveillance and data mining.
That is to say that internet companies often intensify their search for
economic value in immaterial communications and networking in this
precorporate period, particularly immediately preceding their stock
flotation.



Quantitively speaking, the years 2004 and 2005 saw very little changes to
Facebook’s interface and core user services. There were only seven changes
to the social networking site over these 24 months.[8] <#_ftn8> By 2008,
however, at the start of the precorporate period, Facebook made 24
substantial changes to their platform, including adding a “wall” on users
pages where friend could leave messages and comments. By 2010, 12 months
prior to the company IPO, the platform witnessed 48 changes, many focused
on promoting more networking with other users – tagging friends in updates,
uploading photos, friend anniversaries and so forth. Most importantly, for
the future prospectus of Facebook was the introduction of the open graph
protocol in April of 2010, where all objects, users, non-users, media and
text was integrated into Facebook’s back-end algorithms and data mining
technologies.  Taken as a whole, during the period of precorporation
(2008-2012) changes to the Facebook platform sought to reaffirm its core
business model of social data mining, by proliferating the opportunities it
developed for its user interface, and in many cases the changes were
experienced by users as ‘prompts’ encouraging them to post more, upload
more, and engage with their friend networks through ever more granular
means.







*CONCLUSION*





In this paper I have sought to outline a  precorporate history of
Facebook,  one that placed emphasis on structural decisions that produced
long lasting and ever increasing possibilities for capital accumulation for
investors. This is not an exercise in tinkering, nor is it one that is
easily changed in a matter of years. Rather precorporate histories serve as
a structural forecasting for internet companies, the end goal being to
communicate and ‘pitch’ the core value proposition in the context of growth
opportunities.



In this forward looking financial context, we have seen in the first
instance that due to the immaterial nature of much internet business, the
precorporate years of companies are driven by imaginations, symbolic
gestures, and as Dror noted (ibid) broad “manifestos” of friendly corporate
values. Not surprisingly, many new media, technology, and internet
companies have been led by charismatic, and visionary leaders who, while
lacking in specifics on the development of core business models and
profits, are rich in ideas that should be seeded, by other tech firms or by
institutional and individual investors during the IPO process.



This is not to suggest however that ideas and personalities run amok during
periods of precorporation, for we have seen that such years must recognize
and adhere to – or for some contribute and rewrite —the regulatory
environment of the day. It would be hard to argue that no other sector has
not had more of a ‘free hand’ in the market place than US based tech and
internet companies. That said, Facebook still managed to run afoul of
market regulators and prove to all market watchers that there are clear
hierarchies of market knowledge, especially during the IPO process.



This leaves us with the question of how *precorporation*, as a concept for
understanding particular historical periods of the internet has impacted
individual users and society in general. Much ink has been spilt on the
privacy transgressions of Facebook, yet this brief precorporate view of the
years preceding the company’s IPO has also revealed that the company’s
social networking algorithm, the ‘social graph’, combined with various new
services and interface prompts to post or otherwise interact more with the
platform, are not entirely directed at the new user-worker of Facebook.
Rather this would be only one part of the precorporate picture. Looking
forward, Facebook’s prospects would lie the production of an infinite field
of data points.

































*Bibliography*



Abbate, Janet. (1999). *Inventing the Internet*, Cambridge: MIT Press.



Berardi, Franco. (2009). *The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy*,
New York: semiotexte.



Blodget, Henry, 2012 Dec. 20, 344 188, and 39. “REVEALED: The Full Story Of
How Facebook IPO Buyers Got Screwed.” *Business Insider*. Accessed March 2,
2016.
http://www.businessinsider.com/how-facebook-ipo-investors-got-screwed-2012-12
.



Brügger, Niels. (2015). “A Brief History of Facebook as a Media Text: The
Development of an Empty Structure”, *First Monday*, Vol. 20, #5.



Crary, Jonathan. (2014). 2*4/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep*,
London Verso.



Dror, Yuval. (2015). “We are not here for the money: Founders Manifestos”, *New
Media & Society*, Vol. 17, #4, pp. 540-555.



Elmer, Greg. (2015).



Elmer, Greg. (2002). “The Case of Web Browser Cookies: Enabling/Disabling
Convenience and Relevance on the Web”, in G. Elmer Ed. *Critical
Perspectives on the Internet*, Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 49-62.



Fisher, Mark. (2009). *Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative?*
London: Zero Books.



Fukuyama, Francis. (2006). *The End of History and The Last Man*, Toronto:
Simon And Schuster.



Gitelman, Lisa. (2014). *Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of
Documents*,  Durham: Duke U. Press.



Murphy, Brian M. (2002). “A Critical History of the Internet”, in G. Elmer
Ed. *Critical Perspectives on the Internet*, Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield,
pp. 27-45



Parikka, Jussi. (2012). *What is Media Archaeology?* London: Polity.



Stiegler, Bernard. (2014). *Symbolic Misery: The Hyperindustrial Epoch*,
London: Polity.



Thompson, Derek. (2012). “The Profit Network: Facebook and its 835
Million-Man Workforce, The Atlantic, Feb 2, 2012.

<
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/the-profit-network-facebook-and-its-835-million-man-workforce/252473/
>



Wajcman, Judy. (2016) *Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in
Digital Capitalism*, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.



Williams, Raymond. (1978) *Marxism and Literature*, Oxford: Oxford
University Press.



Winseck, Dwayne. (1998). *Reconvergence: A Political Economy of
Telecommunications in Canada*, New York: Hampton Press.



Winston, Brian. (1998). *Media, Technology and Society, A History: From the
Telegraph to the Internet*, New York: Routledge.













------------------------------

[1] <#_ftnref1> My previous study of web browser cookies follows this exact
method (Elmer, 2002).

[2] <#_ftnref2> The Digital Methods team at the University of Amsterdam
designed a short video to highlight just such a history of Google: <
https://movies.digitalmethods.net/google.html>

[3] <#_ftnref3> Cf Winseck (1998) on an earlier view of financialization
and corporations in the 1850s.

[4] <#_ftnref4> <
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1326801/000119312512034517/d287954ds1.htm
>

[5] <#_ftnref5> cf. <
https://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/guidance/securitiesactrules-interps.htm
>

[6] <#_ftnref6> <
https://www.ft.com/content/403077b8-af28-11e5-993b-c425a3d2b65a>

[7] <#_ftnref7> <
http://www.zdnet.com/article/anger-mounts-after-facebooks-shadow-profiles-leak-in-bug/
>

[8] <#_ftnref8> <
http://www.jonloomer.com/2012/05/06/history-of-facebook-changes/>

-- 

-------------------------------------------------------
Greg Elmer, PhD
Professor of Professional Communication & Graduate Program in Communication
& Culture
Bell Media Research Chair & Director, Infoscape Research Lab
Ryerson University, Toronto
Adjunct Professor of Political Science, York University


The Canadian Delegation <http://www.thecanadiandelegation.com>: In the
summer of 1989, as the Soviet bloc crumbles and China fends of a democratic
revolt, the head of Canada's Young Communist League leads a delegation of
youth to an international student festival in one of the most isolated and
enigmatic nations in the world. This feature documentary film is currently
in production.

_______________________________________________

--001a1139746e94b8860546c5982e
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<div dir="ltr">This is a short paper I wrote a couple months back. It builds on Mark Fisher&#39;s notion of &#39;precorporation&#39;. His tremendous insights will be missed. /Greg<div><br></div><div><br></div><div>
















<p class="MsoNormal"><u><span lang="EN-US">Precorporation: Or what financialization
can tell us about the histories of the Internet <span></span></span></u></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><u><span lang="EN-US"> </span></u></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Greg Elmer<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><br></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span>Most conversations about the history of an
internet platform, protocol, website, or company invariably begins (or ends)
with some variation of the following: “what? It’s been that long?” And I’m not
dating myself here either. Even so-called millennials are prone to remark upon
the speed that platforms emerge and disappear, how apps take off in popularity
and use (think <i>Pokémon Go</i>), and then seemingly
disappear overnight (<i>Vine </i>being the
dead platform at the time of writing). Such is internet history as understood
from an accelerationalist position (Crary 2014, Wajcman 2016), where the
history of the internet is constantly in flux, waiting for the next big thing.</p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">On the other end of the spectrum, the
vitality of accelerationalism is killed quite spectacularly by some media
“archaeologists” (Gitelman 2015, Parikka, 2012), who offer us a steady stream
of dead technologies that Raymond Williams (1978) maintains contain some
residual qualities. Such internet histories are more apt to view bots as zombie
actors, conducting the frighteningly banal, expensive, and time consuming work
of the net. Moreover, the digging down through the layers and histories of the
internet reminds us of the impact of supposedly dead technologies on the
viability of human existence (eg. the anthroposcene). <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“The end of history” is of course just as
popular today among conservative thinkers (Fukayama 2016), as critics of modern
technology and economic systems. In the latter case, we find theorists such as
Franco Berardi (2009) and Bernard Stiegler (2014) offering critiques of
internet platforms and practices as contributing to the death of the
imagination, and thus the end of progressive possibilities and alternatives in
the future.  <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">But for most students and scholars of
history, the question of continuities looms largest, and ‘longest’ – and in
some respects mirrors the abundance of information, opinions, and perspectives
offered on the internet. In this classic view of history, where we often see
the internet added last to a long list of electronic based communication
technologies (Winston 1998), the expanse of history is quilted together by
various technological similarities, social effects, and design affordances. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Contributing to these historical approaches
to technology and the internet, this short paper makes the case for a view of
internet histories that recurs as in the classical view, but at a distinct –
and early – period in the development of internet companies. This paper, in
other words, argues for f<i>inancialized</i>
internet histories, that is when an internet company’s user policies, services,
interfaces, and ultimately business models are developed with an eye to large-scale
financial investment (from both institutional and ‘public’ investors). These
‘micro-histories’ of internet companies, typically anywhere from two to four
years in length, are not without precedent in the field of internet and social
media studies. The constant updating of world wide web browsers from Netscape,
then later Microsoft explorer and Google Chrome, likewise can be broken down in
distinct and short historical periods where the prominence of various functions
such as indexes, customized search tools, and add-on apps are date stamped as
‘versions’ (1.0, 1.2 and so forth).<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[1]</span></span></span></a>
The same periodization could be conducted on search engines.<a href="#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[2]</span></span></span></a>
We could also reimagine and moreover rewrite the early years of the web through
the micro-histories of mass consumer internet service providers (ISPs) such as
American Online &amp; CompuServe, services that constantly redesigned their
interfaces to grow fee paying users. More recently </span>Niels Brügger (2015) outlines a history of the
Facebook platform that is broken down into four distinct period beginning with
2004-2006, providing “…an outline of a history of one single element of
Facebook, namely the textual and interactive media environment that users can
see and interact with on the web site and on mobile media”. (ibid) Such
micro-histories thus provide insight into how the platform redefined its core
services visible on its user interface. <span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Following </span>Brügger’s Facebook case study, <span lang="EN-US">this paper
likewise posits a slice of the Facebook company’s history, but it is argued one
far more distinct and instrumental than the rest – the years immediately
preceding the company’s listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange on May 18, 2012.  It is my contention that the years immediately
preceding a company’s listing on stock exchange markets such as the technology
heavy NASDAQ and others offers a condensed view on the development of
commercially driven internet enterprises. Political economists would typically
define this period in time as a process of corporate financialization, which at
its most basic level aims to provide vast amounts of capital to internet
companies.<a href="#_ftn3" name="_ftnref3" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[3]</span></span></span></a>
Such pre-marketized histories offers tremendous insight into how internet
companies are fundamentally restructured in advance of ‘going public’. Such
periods witness structural changes in the business models of companies as a
signal to markets about their future sustainability and moreover prospective
profits. In short a historical study of the finances of internet companies
helps to understand in both broad and increasingly granular terms the business
model of internet companies today, and by extension the associated concerns
with the economic value and sustainability of companies (stemming from the dot
com bubble of 2000), the ethical transgressions of companies (privacy, and data
discrimination), and the social impact of internet based communications and
networking on various communities and demographics. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><u><span lang="EN-US">From Incorporation to Precorporation<span></span></span></u></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Mark Fisher (2009) notes that the term
“incorporation” is typically used to highlight the early transformation of
businesses into legally recognized institutions such as limited companies,
partnerships, or corporations. The history of negotiations, funding, and in
some instances the actors involved in establishing the terms of incorporation
are fundamental to understanding the goals, mission, and structure of
corporations, and their core business model. But Fisher goes one step further,
preferring the term <i>precorporation</i>,
to describe the periods in time where a set of legal, political, and economic
conventions establish the <i>prospects</i>
(the ‘future-look’) of a company. Moreover, the precorporate view of internet
company histories emphasizes the moments where businesses must be ‘sold’ –
perhaps ‘pitched’ is a better term – to investors. As a result, in addition to
the years preceding stock market listing – the period of ‘going public’ – <i>precorporate histories </i>might also include
the early years of a companies formation, where partners, angel investors, or other
technology companies often make important initial investments in a company to
allow it to explore business models. In this respect, the company prospectus
often serves as the penultimate precorporate document, where at various stages
in the capitalization of a firm, the business model, philosophy, and source of
financial value, going forward, is articulated to prospective partners and
investors. (Dror 2015, Elmer, 2015)<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The <i>precorporate
</i>view of internet histories<i> </i>thus<i> </i>argues that the process of
financialization serves a unique motivating factor in the histories of not only
internet companies, but of the internet as a whole – that there are common processes
established in the process of financialization of internet companies. In what
follows I detail albeit briefly a set of common and intersecting political and
economic processes and trajectories that inform the precorporate years of
internet financialization, with a principle focus again on the Facebook company.
It is my contention that the sum of these trajectories, ultimately condensed
into the most intense years of precorporate financialization of internet
companies, provide fundamental answers to a host of questions concerning the
historical change in internet customs, practices, interfaces, platforms, and
ultimately business models. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">These intersecting trajectories can be
summarized into three categories. First, by focusing on the financialization of
the internet, I am explicitly calling attention to the core value proposition
of networked computing, what is the business model of the internet, and exactly
what will lead to the generation of profits and/or value for stock holders? During
moments of precorporation, in other words, investors of all stripes are often
invited to imagine the future possibilities of unproven and untested
technologies. In short, where was the financial value proposition in social
networking? <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The second trajectory, closely follows this
process of imagining financial value. As the dotcom gold rush cascaded
forwarded, leading to the dot-bomb market crash of 1999-2000, precorporate
histories of the internet also become governmental stories, highlighting the
rules that dictate the conditions of precorporate promotions, offers,
‘pitches’, and trades. Indeed while much has been written about the
collaborative genesis of the Arpanet, the precursor to the internet (Abate,
1999), But Brian Murphy (2002) reminds us that since the late 1990s the
internet has been governed as a for-profit commercial sphere. Murphy traces the
work of Vice President Al Gore, as he shepherded a series of government bills
that would place control of the internet in the hands of the private sector.
Murphy writes: ”The final link in the chain of enabling legislation came with
the Communications Act of 1996. The new law governing the operations of all
media in the United States affirmed that “the Market will drive both the
internet and information highway”. (p. 31) <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Lastly, precorporation helps us to
understand the shaping of the internet itself through the projections and
properties of its leading companies, the scarce interface of the Google search
engine, Facebook’s prompting social network site, and Twitter’s endless
vertical ticker, to name just three of the more successful sites. That is to
say that precorporation reshapes and reforms not only the corporate structure
of internet companies, and where it sets up its head offices and houses its
workers, it also reshapes the relationships it has with its own work force,
users and non-users. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><u><span lang="EN-US">Facebook’s Precorporate Era<span></span></span></u></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">On the question of economic value, a
fundamental component that communications and internet based companies often
face during the years of precorporation is the process of convincing investors
to part with their money. And as I have previously detailed in an early study
of the Marconi company, this is not a contemporary phenomenon (Elmer 2015). Like
Marconi’s wireless business, internet and social media companies like Facebook face
unique questions concerning the <i>immateriality</i>
of their core business – what is it that they are proposing to sell? To make a
profit from? Marconi’s “apparatus” as it was initially dubbed, for instance,
was commonly pitched as a  ‘magical’ or otherworldly
advance in science, making communications in essence not only disappear but
travel vast distances. But concrete applications of the invention took years to
establish and thrive. (ibid) For companies like <i>Facebook</i>, while perhaps not as dramatic as wireless communications,
the question of value remains immaterial and elusive for most critics and
market watchers. Indeed, the company’s prospectus, again the key document that was
used to sell the company’s future financial viability and worth to investors
and the market, was revised six times to answer this very question. (Blodget
2012). In each instance, revisions were sought by market regulators and
financial underwriters (</span><span lang="EN-US">Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs</span><span lang="EN-US">), so as to sharpen the case for how the company was going to make
money. While most recognized that ad sales would lead the way for Facebook,
revisions to the prospectus also noted the role of the company’s recently
developed “social graph” algorithm – in conjunction with the roll out of a
mobile platform - would enhance the company’s future financial prospects.<a href="#_ftn4" name="_ftnref4" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[4]</span></span></span></a>
<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Earlier rounds of capitalization of
Facebook, similarly invoked the process of imagining and rewriting the core
value of the company. This moment in the history of Facebook was dramatically
represented in director David Fincher’s cinema story of the rise of Mark
Zuckerberg’s Facebook, <i>The Social Network</i>.
In one of the key scenes in the film, Zuckerberg </span><span lang="EN-US">and Facebook co-founder Eduardo
Savarin discuss strategies with former Napster co-founder Sean Parker, to sell
their vision of Facebook to angel investors, financing that would effectively
launch the company and provide much needed resources to develop the company’s
platform. </span><span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">While the process of seeking investment is
mostly clearly associated with the process of financialization (seeking
investment through the stock market), almost all internet companies share a
precorporate period of external capitalization and investment, often by these so-called
“angel investors”, or by other larger digital media and software companies like
Google and Microsoft, who take a small stake or ownership in the emerging firm.
Such histories are often hidden from the public’s view, and only revealed years
later. But such moments of precorporation place an important emphasis on
visions and visionaries (leaders) within the emerging company, and conversely
potential constraints and pressures exerted upon the company by early investors.<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Next, with regards to the process of
economic regulation, the years of precorporation are closely attuned to market
regulations of the day, the rules that define the responsibilities and
processes that incorporated and so-called “public” companies must follow.  The precorporate view of internet histories
in other words, must also be viewed as a history of corporate governance, both
in terms of what pressures have produced market regulations and company law
(banking crises, market crashes, widespread fraud, etc), and conversely how
companies themselves actively play a role in co-producing (interpreting)
pre-existing and evolving laws and regulations. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">For Facebook the writing and rewriting of
the company’s prospectus was chiefly governed by the US Securities Act, and overseen
by the Securities and Exchange Commission.<a href="#_ftn5" name="_ftnref5" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[5]</span></span></span></a>
This moment of precorporation however proved to be a major embarrassment for
Facebook as it was later revealed that while the publicly available prospectus
was shared with investors and the public, warnings about future growth being
stifled by the as yet unproven mobile platform was only shared with
institutional investors.<a href="#_ftn6" name="_ftnref6" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[6]</span></span></span></a>
<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">In addition to questions of immaterial
value, IPO sales, and market regulation, this last section highlights how
Facebook used its precorporate years, specifically 2008-2012, leading up to the
NASDAQ IPO, to reconfigure its relationship with workers and its user base to
intensify its efforts to collect social networking data. The first thing to
note about Facebook as an employer is that unlike tech firms like Apple and
some internet based firms like Amazon and Google, leading up to the IPO
Facebook employed a startlingly low number of staff, roughly 3000. This made
Facebook’s per worker company valuable – meaning the ration of staff per value
of the company – nearly five times greater than Apple or Google. But this
figure is somewhat mis-leading, as Derek Thompson (2012) noted in <i>The Atlantic </i>a few months prior to the
IPO: “</span>…Facebook&#39;s workforce isn&#39;t
just 3,000 employees, but also 835 million users, who create information that
is valuable to advertisers, and therefore valuable to Facebook…” What’s more, in
2011 it was revealed that Facebook also data mines <i>non</i>-Facebook users, that is those individuals who have not expressly
opened an account on the platform.<a href="#_ftn7" name="_ftnref7" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span style="font-size:12pt">[7]</span></span></span></a>
Such “ghost or shadow profiles” thus highlight how the intensification of data collection
by Facebook was not  restricted to its user
base. <span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">This is not to suggest however that a
precorporate Facebook was turning away from collecting ever more granular
information and data points on its users. Returning to the work of </span>Brügger <span lang="EN-US">above, the
process of precorporation in internet companies, is commonly synonymous with rapid
changes in interfaces and user services that in the case of Facebook represent a
more intensified period of user surveillance and data mining. That is to say
that internet companies often intensify their search for economic value in
immaterial communications and networking in this precorporate period,
particularly immediately preceding their stock flotation. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Quantitively speaking, the years 2004 and
2005 saw very little changes to Facebook’s interface and core user services.
There were only seven changes to the social networking site over these 24
months.<a href="#_ftn8" name="_ftnref8" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[8]</span></span></span></a>
By 2008, however, at the start of the precorporate period, Facebook made 24
substantial changes to their platform, including adding a “wall” on users pages
where friend could leave messages and comments. By 2010, 12 months prior to the
company IPO, the platform witnessed 48 changes, many focused on promoting more
networking with other users – tagging friends in updates, uploading photos,
friend anniversaries and so forth. Most importantly, for the future prospectus
of Facebook was the introduction of the open graph protocol in April of 2010,
where all objects, users, non-users, media and text was integrated into
Facebook’s back-end algorithms and data mining technologies.  Taken as a whole, during the period of precorporation
(2008-2012) changes to the Facebook platform sought to reaffirm its core
business model of social data mining, by proliferating the opportunities it
developed for its user interface, and in many cases the changes were
experienced by users as ‘prompts’ encouraging them to post more, upload more,
and engage with their friend networks through ever more granular means. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><u><span lang="EN-US">CONCLUSION<span></span></span></u></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">In this paper I have sought to outline
a  precorporate history of Facebook,  one that placed emphasis on structural
decisions that produced long lasting and ever increasing possibilities for
capital accumulation for investors. This is not an exercise in tinkering, nor
is it one that is easily changed in a matter of years. Rather precorporate
histories serve as a structural forecasting for internet companies, the end
goal being to communicate and ‘pitch’ the core value proposition in the context
of growth opportunities. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">In this forward looking financial context, we
have seen in the first instance that due to the immaterial nature of much internet
business, the precorporate years of companies are driven by imaginations,
symbolic gestures, and as Dror noted (ibid) broad “manifestos” of friendly
corporate values. Not surprisingly, many new media, technology, and internet
companies have been led by charismatic, and visionary leaders who, while
lacking in specifics on the development of core business models and profits,
are rich in ideas that should be seeded, by other tech firms or by
institutional and individual investors during the IPO process. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">This is not to suggest however that ideas
and personalities run amok during periods of precorporation, for we have seen
that such years must recognize and adhere to – or for some contribute and
rewrite —the regulatory environment of the day. It would be hard to argue that
no other sector has not had more of a ‘free hand’ in the market place than US
based tech and internet companies. That said, Facebook still managed to run
afoul of market regulators and prove to all market watchers that there are
clear hierarchies of market knowledge, especially during the IPO process. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">This leaves us with the question of how <i>precorporation</i>, as a concept for
understanding particular historical periods of the internet has impacted
individual users and society in general. Much ink has been spilt on the privacy
transgressions of Facebook, yet this brief precorporate view of the years
preceding the company’s IPO has also revealed that the company’s social
networking algorithm, the ‘social graph’, combined with various new services
and interface prompts to post or otherwise interact more with the platform, are
not entirely directed at the new user-worker of Facebook. Rather this would be
only one part of the precorporate picture. Looking forward, Facebook’s prospects
would lie the production of an infinite field of data points.<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">  <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><u><span lang="EN-US"> </span></u></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><u><span lang="EN-US"> </span></u></p>

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<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Abbate, Janet. (1999). <i>Inventing the Internet</i>, Cambridge: MIT Press.<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

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<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal">Blodget, Henry, 2012
Dec. 20, 344 188, and 39. “REVEALED: The Full Story Of How Facebook IPO Buyers
Got Screwed.” <i>Business Insider</i>. Accessed March 2, 2016.
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<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

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#5. <span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

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<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Dror, Yuval. (2015). “We are not here for
the money: Founders Manifestos”, <i>New
Media &amp; Society</i>, Vol. 17, #4, pp. 540-555.<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

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<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Elmer, Greg. (2002). “The Case of Web
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<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Fukuyama, Francis. (2006). <i>The End of History and The Last Man</i>,
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<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Gitelman, Lisa. (2014). <i>Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of
Documents</i>,  Durham: Duke U. Press.<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Murphy, Brian M. (2002). “A Critical
History of the Internet”, in G. Elmer Ed. <i>Critical
Perspectives on the Internet</i>, Boulder: Rowman &amp; Littlefield, pp. 27-45<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Parikka, Jussi. (2012). <i>What is Media Archaeology?</i> London:
Polity.<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Stiegler, Bernard. (2014). <i>Symbolic Misery: The Hyperindustrial Epoch</i>,
London: Polity. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Thompson, Derek. (2012). “The Profit
Network: Facebook and its 835 Million-Man Workforce, The Atlantic, Feb 2, 2012.
<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt">&lt;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/the-profit-network-facebook-and-its-835-million-man-workforce/252473/";>http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/the-profit-network-facebook-and-its-835-million-man-workforce/252473/</a>&gt;<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Wajcman, Judy. (2016) <i>Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism</i>,
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Williams, Raymond. (1978) <i>Marxism and Literature</i>, Oxford: Oxford
University Press.<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Winseck, Dwayne. (1998). <i>Reconvergence: A Political Economy of
Telecommunications in Canada</i>, New York: Hampton Press. <span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Winston, Brian. (1998). <i>Media, Technology and Society, A History:
>From the Telegraph to the Internet</i>, New York: Routledge.<span></span></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p>

<div><br clear="all">

<hr align="left" size="1" width="33%">



<div id="gmail-ftn1">

<p class="gmail-MsoFootnoteText"><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[1]</span></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-US"> </span><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt">My previous study
of web browser cookies follows this exact method (Elmer, 2002).</span><span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

</div>

<div id="gmail-ftn2">

<p class="gmail-MsoFootnoteText"><a href="#_ftnref2" name="_ftn2" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[2]</span></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-US"> </span><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt">The Digital
Methods team at the University of Amsterdam designed a short video to highlight
just such a history of Google: &lt;<a href="https://movies.digitalmethods.net/google.html";>https://movies.digitalmethods.net/google.html</a>&gt;<span></span></span></p>

</div>

<div id="gmail-ftn3">

<p class="gmail-MsoFootnoteText"><a href="#_ftnref3" name="_ftn3" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt">[3]</span></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt"> Cf Winseck (1998) on an earlier view of
financialization and corporations in the 1850s.</span><span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

</div>

<div id="gmail-ftn4">

<p class="gmail-MsoFootnoteText"><a href="#_ftnref4" name="_ftn4" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[4]</span></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-US"> </span><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt">&lt;
<a href="https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1326801/000119312512034517/d287954ds1.htm";>https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1326801/000119312512034517/d287954ds1.htm</a>&gt;</span><span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

</div>

<div id="gmail-ftn5">

<p class="gmail-MsoFootnoteText"><a href="#_ftnref5" name="_ftn5" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[5]</span></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-US"> </span><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt">cf. &lt; <a href="https://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/guidance/securitiesactrules-interps.htm";>https://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/guidance/securitiesactrules-interps.htm</a>&gt;</span><span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

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<div id="gmail-ftn6">

<p class="gmail-MsoFootnoteText"><a href="#_ftnref6" name="_ftn6" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[6]</span></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-US"> </span><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt">&lt;
<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/403077b8-af28-11e5-993b-c425a3d2b65a";>https://www.ft.com/content/403077b8-af28-11e5-993b-c425a3d2b65a</a>&gt;</span><span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

</div>

<div id="gmail-ftn7">

<p class="gmail-MsoFootnoteText"><a href="#_ftnref7" name="_ftn7" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[7]</span></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-US"> </span><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt">&lt;
<a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/anger-mounts-after-facebooks-shadow-profiles-leak-in-bug/";>http://www.zdnet.com/article/anger-mounts-after-facebooks-shadow-profiles-leak-in-bug/</a>&gt;</span><span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

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<div id="gmail-ftn8">

<p class="gmail-MsoFootnoteText"><a href="#_ftnref8" name="_ftn8" title=""><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US"><span class="gmail-MsoFootnoteReference"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12pt">[8]</span></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-US"> </span><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10pt">&lt; <a href="http://www.jonloomer.com/2012/05/06/history-of-facebook-changes/";>http://www.jonloomer.com/2012/05/06/history-of-facebook-changes/</a>&gt;</span><span lang="EN-US"><span></span></span></p>

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<div><br></div>-- <br><div class="gmail_signature"><div dir="ltr"><div><div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><div><br></div>-------------------------------------------------------<br>Greg Elmer, PhD</div><div dir="ltr">Professor of Professional Communication &amp; Graduate Program in Communication &amp; Culture</div><div dir="ltr">Bell Media Research Chair &amp; Director, Infoscape Research Lab<br><div>Ryerson University, Toronto<br><div>Adjunct Professor of Political Science, York University<br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><div><div><a href="http://www.thecanadiandelegation.com"; target="_blank">The Canadian Delegation</a>: In the summer of 1989, as the Soviet bloc crumbles and China fends of a democratic revolt, the head of Canada&#39;s Young Communist League leads a delegation of youth to an international student festival in one of the most isolated and enigmatic nations in the world. This feature documentary film is currently in production.</div><div><br></div><div>_______________________________________________<br></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div>
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