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The Sarah Lacy/Mark Zuckerberg interview debacle (seen from a non-geek perspective) March 18, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere.

I started hearing about the Mark Zuckerberg interview (awfully conducted by Sarah Lacy) from Coleen (who guest-wrote a post on Rebecca’s blog). For some strange reason I have become obsessed with this particular issue. While I have very short attention span for stuff that I find absolutely irrelevant, I Googled blogs on this issue for hours (bear in mind I’ve been really sick and thus have had some time to do things that don’t require thinking.

Apparently debacles do it for me. The fact that Lacy did such a lousy job in a very important interview with the designer/creator of Facebook (which by the way I hate profoundly) just highlights that being in the spotlight is dangerous. I concur with many bloggers in that she looked like a klutz, that she tried to use her feminine wiles, that she gave women geeks a bad name, that her interview was absolutely inane and irrelevant.

But the thing is… not only did Sarah Lacy do a lousy job at interviewing Zuckerberg, she did an even poorer job at reacting afterwards. If you look at her response after the interview (available on YouTube, here), the vulgarity of her words is beyond my wildest imagination. Using the S word and the F word and saying “you know, I’m still employed” and being despondent… WOW.

As a non-geek (but as someone who has done plenty of interviews, given dozens of talks to a variety of audiences, and who understands that you really have to understand your audience when interviewing anyone – AND NOT MIX YOUR PERSONAL LIFE WITH WORK) I firmly believe she did a crappy and lousy job. And she did not earn my respect. Which is regrettable, because I have an absolute admiration for women, particularly tech-savvy women (look at my blogroll and see how many female bloggers I have, just as a small indicator). So, for Lacy to do such a bad job at interviewing Zuckerberg (who clearly is not Matt Mullenweg – I admire Mullenweg to a fault, whereas Zuckerberg…. hmmm, not so much) it was really bad.

I am hoping that writing this post will get this obsession out of my system, because frankly I didn’t even go to SXSW and I am not in the tech world. I think that what happened is that I was shocked. Hopefully this will get the shock out of my system :-D.

UPDATE – Just as I was finishing writing this up, I thought about the fact that maybe if they had chosen someone who I think is WAY more articulate than Lacy (danah boyd, who actually is finishing up her PhD and has actually researched Facebook, MySpace and blogs) and who is still a woman (and a geek), the interview would have been much better.



1. Marina - March 19, 2008

I read a few things about the interview as well but I didn’t bother to search for a rebuttal. Now that I’ve seen it, I’m even less likely to look for her or any of her material again. And I’m sorry, the bit where she goes off about this being the price of fame…fame? I had to look her up!

And thanks for the Danah Boyd link. Her Cannes presentation is a great jumping point for something else I’m working on.

2. Raul - March 19, 2008

Thanks for stopping by, Marina. I also didn’t know of her existence until this horrendous interview – “the price of fame” also made me laugh. God, why didn’t they invite someone else with a brain? As many bloggers have said, there are PLENTY of smarter women out there who could have done a MUCH better job than she did.

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