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Facebook's Open Platform: Good Idea Or Not?

Tuesday, 11 Sep 2007 | 11:33 AM ET
Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard. But now his startup is back in class, at Stanford University. Apparently the university has a new class called "Create Engaging Web applications Using Metrics and Learning on Facebook." I hunted around Stanford's CS website, and couldn't find any details, but one of the course's teachers, Dave McClure, said it intends to help computer science and business school students and engineers learn how to build software using Facebook.

This is the upshot of Facebook opening up its platform--allowing just anyone from Amazon to a kid with an idea for a 'pick your favorite movies' button to build applications to embed on the site. Is this class a brilliant way to get Stanford's brightest to create new applications for the site?

The students will reportedly be graded based on how many Facebook users actively use their applications. (Wow! Talk about the intersection of business and education!). And reportedly at the end of the course students will present their applications to interested investors.

Is this a huge boom for Facebook? Is it fair? Is Zuckerberg thrilled? If you have any thoughts, please e-mail me!

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.