Did Greenberg Help Stanford’s Facebook Apps Go Viral?

I just posted about Dan Ackerman Greenberg from Stanford who posted at TechCrunch, about how he manipulates the system to help make videos viral. Greenberg is also head TA at Stanford’s class on Facebook Applications.

I also noticed that two of the apps from this class have gone viral according to TechCrunch

Today we received word that one of them, KissMe, has crossed 1 million installs as of 6:30pm this evening. Another app, Send Hotness is likely to break 1 million in the next few days. It’s pretty amazing considering a lot of professional apps barely register.

It is pretty amazing. Did Greenberg help them out?

What are they teaching at Stanford and why is a guy like Greenberg allowed to TA a class?

[tags]facebook, viral marketing, Greenberg, Stanford Facebook Class[/tags]

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  • Dave McClure November 24, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Alex –

    this is Dave McClure, one of the instructors for the Stanford Facebook class, along with Professor BJ Fogg.

    Just to be clear: Dan’s side business is completely separate from the class. In addition, the mediums covered are substantially different (Facebook apps vs video content).

    I can assure you the subject matter & topics taught in our class are solely determined by BJ & me, and we provide oversight & reviewed for the entire teaching team & curriculum. You are welcome to review the course syllabus & recent class progress on the class website here:
    http://captology.stanford.edu/facebook/

    The apps in our class that have experienced success on Facebook were created by students who worked hard at studying techniques for growth on Facebook platform, in addition to tips presented by industry speakers from Slide, RockYou, Facebook, Google, Yahoo & other companies.

    As to Dan’s qualifications as a TA, he’s an experienced graduate student with appropriate skills and has previously been a TA for Prof. Fogg. He’s a bright & talented individual who’s been nothing but supportive of our students & diligent in his work as a TA for the class. While i personally may not agree with all the techniques Dan outlined in his TechCrunch article, his external business is not part of our class.

    If you have any further questions about the class materials or teaching guidelines, and/or our selection process for TAs, i’m sure either BJ or I would be happy to followup.

    thanks & regards,

    – dave mcclure

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  • alex November 25, 2007 at 12:43 am

    Dave thanks for your comment and the clarification. As a Stanford alum, I found Dan’s post deeply disturbing. It takes integrity, not just brains and talent to make someone a good teacher.

    I know these practices abound around the internet, but I would hope that Dan, as someone who promotes his role with Stanford and in particular his role as the Facebook TA, would have displayed both better integrity and judgment. From my point of view, teaching at Stanford is a great privilege and with privilege comes responsibility.

    While you may not see his business as part of your class, he sure used your class to give him credibility in his post and he uses your class and logo on his website to promote his business.

    His post damaged his reputation, and by association the Facebook class you teach, the University and those of us who are proud of what Stanford stands for.

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