CARLSBAD, CA — Mark Zuckerberg has learned nothing. Taking the stage at D6, he uttered nothing but bromides and nonsequiturs. Examples: "Facebook is a technology company ... a technology company is a company that creates technology"; "Religion, that's a big thing around the world". At his South By Southwest keynote, Zuckerberg benefitted from a crowd obsessed with the friendliness of Sarah Lacy's questions. With Kara Swisher, never a kind locutor, Zuckerberg had the spotlight shone on him, and he came off simply blank. Which is why he hired Sheryl Sandberg from Google, right?
Wrong, in practice if not in theory. Sandberg, who now oversees Facebook PR, was Zuckerberg's companion on stage. But she added nothing to the conversation; she wasn't even able to explain why she left Google for Facebook coherently. (Mentioning Google's stock price would have at least gotten some heads nodding.) We'll cut Facebook flack Elliot Schrage slack for not preparing his bosses adequately; he just got there himself. But at some point, Zuckerberg and Sandberg will have to find something to say. They kept saying Facebook is about letting users "share information and share themselves." It's beyond embarrassing that Zuckerberg and Sandberg can't manage to do so.