The projections of private companies are always to be taken with a pinch of salt. Particularly when they're seeking to warm up a buyer, as Facebook was, during acquisition discussions last year with Yahoo. The internet media company believed Mark Zuckerberg's social network for students might make $172m revenue, mainly from advertising, in 2007. Preposterous?Not so much. Facebook execs have been spreading the word in Silicon Valley that the company is on course for at least $150m this year, we hear, not far off those earlier projections. The site, which students use to showcase themselves and organize their social lives, may be a flawed advertising platform, about which more, later; but Facebook's plan to remain independent, unlike that of most other new web ventures, looks increasingly plausible.