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Facebook meets the press (and the blogosphere)

July 23, 2008 |  5:38 pm

After Facebook's F8 conference, some 70 journalists and bloggers crammed a press conference with Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives this evening.

Yet, despite Robert Scoble asking several questions, the well quickly ran dry. Monetization? Not going to talk about that. Lawsuits? We like innovation not imitation. OpenSocial? We're very open and we will get more open (but not necessarily in that way). Announcements with real news? Fuggedaboutit.

2697292006_e15253e253 Despite the super slick presentation and the stadium-sized crowd, there was little left to ask.

What was noteworthy was just how relaxed the usually media-phobic Zuckerberg was. The 24-year-old Facebook chief executive fielded questions the way he took the stage, in poised fashion. He showed video of Bill O'Reilly exploding on the set of "Inside Edition" and he even cracked some jokes during his keynote. Have you heard the one about the Facebook user in Greenland? Madagascar? "Looks like we have a few in the Pacific Ocean," Zuckerberg quipped, looking at a map of his site's international growth.

Before he ran off to spend time with his parents, who flew in for the occasion, one blogger got his autograph and another posed for a photograph.

Ben Ling, the former Google executive now in charge of the Facebook platform, hung out longer to chat about how he was trying to make life better for users and developers. He said that Facebook was simply trying to clarify the rules for developers and be fair and consistent in how it rewards or punishes them.

Speaking of punishing: Ling said Facebook had taken action against some 1,000 applications for violating the privacy of users or other policies. But Facebook also will dole out "great apps" rewards to 10 more applications over the coming year, Ling said. The first winners of that sought after prize were iLike and Causes.

Why did those two make the grade? They "applications were meaningful, trustworthy and helped users share," Ling said.

-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: Blogger Mike Arrington at Facebook's F8 press conference. Credit: Brian Solis via Flickr