Now that the most hyped movie since Avatar has been out for a few days, been seen by millions, and been commented on by almost as many, the issues are cropping up around an important point:

The Social Network isn’t portraying either Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg accurately!!!

OK, folks listen up: unless you’re Facebook’s Public Relations department, that doesn’t matter.

Or does it?

While this article made me cringe, it also made me think. Hollywood “backlash”? Bias? Oh, please. The Social Network is just a story. Sure, it’s based (loosely or otherwise) on real events and the lives of real people, but nobody has described it as accurate; it’s topical, timely entertainment. The Social Network is Hollywood. It’s a movie.

And that doesn’t matter, either. I have opinions about big media and the way that business is run, and I’ve even dabbled in Broadway reviews, but you don’t need my opinion added to the cacophony of voices squawking about The Social Network. What strikes me is a simple statement made by the 83-year-old mother of a friend after she saw The Social Network:

“I thought it was a great movie. And I wish you’d explain what Facebook is to me.”

Facebook and social networking have become a big enough part of culture that movies about it are getting made by big Hollywood studios, and people who don’t use Facebook and are generally outside its demographic are seeing those films. And it may come as a surprise, but there are still many people who don’t do social networking … at all.

But you can’t play to that fact as you plan business change. While I think Facebook gets a lot of things wrong, 500 million people have subscribed, and the phrase “outside its demographic”  will mean less and less over time, if not on Facebook in particular than certainly for social networking in general.

What are your business social networking plans?

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