Is Mark Zuckerberg The New Oprah?

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks, the social media crowd listens. Now the world will find out if they are interested in what he is reading. Zuckerberg decided to crowdsource ideas for his 2015 personal New Year’s Resolution challenge, and promptly got over 500,000 ideas. The winning suggestion led to the social media tycoon starting a book club, and now thousands of people are indicating they will read along with him.

The first book selected, “The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What it Used to Be,” is not a surprising choice. It is a book about leadership and the decay of power. Written by Moises Naim, the book was named a Financial Times Best Book of the Year. Zuckerberg’s goal is to read one new book every other week, the title of which will be posted on a group Facebook page titled, “A Year of Books.” Zuckerberg decided that selected books must provide a learning experience concerning beliefs, cultures and histories.Double-take on Book ClubsThis is a take-two scenario because Oprah Winfrey was the first big celebrity who started a book club that was digitally interactive. Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 is not on Facebook, but she does have over 10 million fans on the Oprah Facebook site where the book club selections are promoted. All it takes to sell out a book is for Oprah to mention it. In fact, her influence is so great that the publishing industry gave the phenomenon the name “Oprah Effect.”

Will Zuckerberg have the same influence? Maybe he will because the founder of Facebook has 23 million Facebook followers. However, it is not really fair to compare the two book clubs because Oprah selects books appealing to her fan base, which consists mostly of women. Zuckerberg can select any book, and it looks like they will have a business focus. It is ironic that the social media mogul decided to read books since he makes his billions by people reading online material. It is a new take on print versus digital.