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You may have read coverage of the keynote Q&A with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg at the Austin conference SXSW over the weekend.
CNET and Wired jumped all over the interviewer Sarah Lacy, for doing things like interrupting Zuckerberg and interjecting herself into the talk — and they cited heckling audience members to back up their opinions that Lacy’s interview was a bomb. However, we’ve just watched the video and we have to agree with Mike Arrington at Techcrunch. Lacy actually asked a decent set of questions and tried hard to spice it up. Zuckerberg had plenty of time to talk about all kinds of issues, and he’s known to be a hard interview. In fact, she did a good job, introducing new tidbits about Zuckerberg and the company that she uncovered during research for her book.
The brief heckling near the end (see around min. 50) appears to come mainly from developers who apparently wanted more questions about the platform, instead of the inside story about Facebook’s finances and personal anecdotes about its leadership that Lacy was focusing on.
The back-story is that Lacy doesn’t seem to be liked much by other journalists, and they seemed to jump all over her as soon as they got a chance. A very odd moment in journalism. Watch it for yourself (see below).
One note of substance in the interview: Zuckerberg expresses significant support for Matt Cohler, a young executive at Facebook. Cohler has been at Facebook for years, but now he’s clearly being entrusted with helping lead the company as it scales to multiple hundreds of people in size.