What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

On Facebook

June 24, 2012, 3:24 PM

Facebook stocks are tanking, for now. Its membership growth is outstripping its revenue growth. And they keep changing the damned interface. What's a social network organizer to do?

Watching the Facebook IPO drama unfold has been fascinating. I haven't written about it yet, but I have talked about it at work and in class. I've been wondering for a while if Facebook has peaked. It seems to have plateaued, at least.

We've known for a while that people are often frustrated by the constant changes to Facebook's platform. Its privacy settings have to be adjusted every time. And the realization that wall posts only reach about 10% of friends/fans newsfeeds dampens enthusiasm for Facebook as a marketing and advocacy channel.

The GM ad pullout reverberated around the commercial advertising industry. GM wasn't getting what it wanted out of its Facebook ads, so they stopped advertising. But they still maintain a strong social presence. Its decision hurt the value of the stock, true, but it also revealed that advertising on Facebook is different from advertising elsewhere.

Facebook is a social space, not a marketplace. Ads on Facebook that work with the social aspects of Facebook work much better than traditional branding and direct sales ad strategies.

The biggest issue with Facebook for me is that it doesn't know what it wants to do for advocacy and political campaigns. With each change to its interface, it swings back and forth between being useful for mobilizing and organizing, to being more suited for personal social networking.

Facebook has tried to position ads and promoted page wall posted as the way for campaigns to reach more people. That helps, but not only do they cost money, but they leave uncertain the interplay between the ads and social engagement. On top of that, the free Facebook tools keep changing, and often times for the worse.

The problem is, if I can't get a firm handle on creating return on investment for my Facebook ads, I am less likely to buy them. When Facebook allows me to clearly map out a campaign that integrates ads and social tactics, with consistent and somewhat predictable outcomes, I'll spend more on their ads


On Facebook

Newsletter: Share: