Liveblogging: Talk w/Mark Zuckerberg at Web 2.0 summit

Almost liveblogging (wifi crapped out) A Conversation with Mark Zuckerberg
with John Battelle (Federated Media Publishing), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckberg’s talking about the partnership and investment with Microsoft, and John B asks “Do you need money?”

Mark says no, and the audience giggles nervously.

The body stance of Mar Z is “bring it on, I can tackle you;” the John B stance is “I want this to be good, um, it better be.”

Mark says “We have 125 million users, we’re growing internationally and we’ve made all the 300,000 words on the site can be ported into native languages and it’s worked extremely well; we have more than 20 languages available–and this is a very important strategic thing.”

More Zuckerberg: Big focus in opening new offices in International locations: Paris, London, Dublin. Plus we have a big surge in self-serve advertising
Battelle pushes on ad revenue percentages and Zuckerberg agrees there are hundreds of millions of revenue from Microsoft, sponsors and advertising.

Battelle: Do you think Steve Ballmer is happy with the price he paid?
Zuckerberg: It’s been about more than the dollars..they really want to try new things and take an innovative approach
(Susan sez: Watch out when someone keeps saying “It’s just…” Why does that always strike a false note for me?)
More sound bites:
We don’t feel any pressure to live up to $15 million dollars
On a day to day basis, there is no thought Now we have to do X to justify a $15B investment.
Battelle: How many people work at FB?

Zuckerberg: About 700

Battelle: Do you have a hiring freeze?

Zuckerberg: No.. We want to hire really great technical people who will build things and help us continue to grow. We are also working at adding sales where we have real activity..7% of the population of France is on FB, for example…we need to grow that and start an office…

Susan sez: Am I right in thinking that Marc Zuckerberg wears the same look for every public appearance? White cotton T, black North Face pullover, jeans, tennis shoes? (Oksy, back to the talk…)

Zuckerberg: The challenge is to make people feel comfortable putting information about themselves online.
Battelle asks about Connect and what it offers users. Zuckerberg say applications are feedbased and drives engagement with users, which in turn makes them grow at a faster rate.

Susan sez: Zuckerberg is impressive in how his surface openness is a defense. He’s good at picking the 5 points he wants to make and sticking to them in a low-key, but firm way. And there’s the sense of the passionate, driven entrepreneur which is every 45 year old man’s idea of what a young start up founder should be.

*Running upstairs to post.