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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Social Networking

Social networking belongs in school
CNET, 2/25/2010

A recent survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 73 percent of online teens use social-networking sites. Updating their Facebook or MySpace page has become a regular activity for teens as is using these services to catch up on what their peers are doing. But, for the most part, teens are using social networking while they are away from school. Many schools actually ban access to services like Facebook and Twitter and often configure filtering programs to block students from accessing them.

[read on]

More colleges scrapping yearbooks as students turn to the Internet
Los Angeles Times, 2/20/2010

For the first time since 1887, students at the University of Virginia won't have a hardcover memento of their college years. The school founded by Thomas Jefferson has become the latest college to decide there's no place for the traditional yearbook in the age of Facebook.

The student publishers of "Corks and Curls" decided to scrap this year's edition because they didn't have the money - an edition can cost more than $100,000 - or the student demand. Student apathy and the financial realities of publishing makes the chance of reviving it slim, editor Michelle Burch said.

[read on]

Facebook and Twitter Compete for Olympic Glory
New York Times, 2/11/2010

Each Olympics brings one or two novel new events. At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, which start in Vancouver on Friday, there is Ski Cross, in which four skiers plunge down a mountain at the same time.

Then there is an unofficial competition that we'll call the Social Media Slalom.

[read on]

Blogging Is Out, Facebook Is In, Study Finds
PC World, 2/4/2010

Just like red wine and classical music, blogging attracts a more mature audience, while the younger set prefers to share their lives via social networks. That's according to a survey recently released by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project entitled Social Media and Young Adults, which continues the PIAP's obsession with tracking the digital habits of the so-called Millennial generation, defined in the study as young adults between the ages of 18 and 29.

[read on]

Privacy, Facebook and the Future of the Internet
ReadWriteWeb, 1/28/2010

Today is the 3rd annual international Data Privacy Day and a whole bunch of companies are listed on the organization's website as participants. Google, Microsoft, even Walmart. Facebook is not listed as a participant and has stirred up a lot of controversy with changes to its privacy policy lately.[read on]

Bill Gates late to Twitter party
Reuters, 1/20/2010

Bill Gates may have been one of the prime movers in the computer age, but now he's  just another middle-aged late adopter.

Only this week, the  Microsoft co-founder got around to joining Twitter and launching his own website.

[read on]

Twitter mobilizes Haiti aid efforts
CNNMoney.com, 1/13/2010

In the aftermath of a severe earthquake in Haiti late Tuesday, Twitter is playing a critical role in collecting donations to help disaster victims.

Fundraising efforts by the American Red Cross and rapper Wyclef Jean were two of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter early Wednesday. Both organizations asked Twitter users to text a number to make a donation that would be added to their cell phone bills.

[read on]

Ford to Bring iPod-Style Controls, Social Networking Into Cars
Business Week, 1/7/2010

Ford Motor Co. plans to bring social networking, Web browsing and iPod-style thumb controls into 80 percent of its models by 2015 as automakers woo consumers with communications features.
[read on]

Social networking changing the way we travel
Associated Press, 12/22/2009

Isahrai Azaria is heading to Austin, Texas, in February, and thanks to Facebook, she already has 40 acquaintances, an invitation to go water tubing, and a line on the best vegetarian lunch place in town.

"It's been unbelievable," said Azaria, a singer who lives in San Francisco. "It was just a quick post on Facebook, but one of my Facebook friends is friends with some people in Austin," and those friends sent her tips on everything from yoga studios to local bus service.

[read on]

The business of Facebook
Los Angeles Times, 12/12/2009

What's good for the social networking site isn't necessarily what's good for users, as new privacy controls illustrate.

[read on]

Sex Offenders Taken Off Networking Sites
CNNMoney.com, 12/1/2009

Social-networking Web sites Facebook and MySpace have identified and disabled accounts used by more than 3,500 registered sex offenders in New York State using a law passed last year that requires sex offenders to register their emails and online aliases with the state, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

[read on]

Study: Texting as Painful as Typing
Myfoxdc.com, 11/27/2009

Excessive texting on your phone can give you "Blackberry thumb," but it can also be a pain in the neck.

According to LiveScience.com , a study found that repetitive texting on a cell phone can cause the same amount of chronic pain caused by typing.
[read on]

Season's Tweetings: Social Networking Sites Help You Save
abcNEWS.com, 11/25/2009

Status updating, friending, tweeting: For many, they are a way to keep in touch with friends and family. But social networking sites can also mean holiday savings. Almost half of the big retail chains are using social media this year to offer special holiday discounts and build customer loyalty, according to the Web site Savings.com.
[read on]

Just because it's on Twitter, it (still) isn't true
MSNBC, 11/20/2009

Earlier this week, the New American Oxford Dictionary announced the addition of social network slang "unfriend" to its next edition, vexing armchair vocabulists everywhere. And yet "gullible" is still not in the dictionary![read on]

Facebook's 'unfriend' is Word of the Year
MSNBC, 11/16/2009

OMG! It's that time of year again! For realsies!

We just tossed the rotten jack-o'-lantern and already New Oxford American Dictionary announces its "Word of the Year." For 2009, that word is a verb, one which we in our social-network obsessed culture should be very familiar: "Unfriend: To remove someone as a 'friend' on a social-networking site such as Facebook.' "
[read on]

I'm Innocent. Just Check My Status on Facebook.
The New York Times, 11/11/2009

The message on Rodney Bradford's Facebook page, posted at 11:49 a.m. on Oct. 17, asked where his pancakes were. The words were typed from a computer in his father's apartment in Harlem.

At the time, the sentence, written in street slang, was just another navel-gazing, cryptic Facebook status update — meaningless to anyone besides Mr. Bradford.
[read on]

What your Facebook photo says about you
LiveScience, 11/9/2009

Those photos you post on Facebook could paint an accurate picture of your personality, new research on first impressions suggests.

And perhaps as expected, the more candid a shot the more nuances of your personality show through.
[read on]

Social networking gets older as teens ditch Facebook to turn to Twitter
Stuff, 11/6/2009

Ahh, all that social networking, it's for the kids right? Apparently not according to the most recent survey of the people using the popular websites.

Conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project in the States, the survey found that Facebook is definitely getting older, hopping from a median age of 26 in May 2008, to 33 now.
[read on]

Google Adds New Social Media Features to Friend Connect
The New York Times, 11/4/2009

Google’s Friend Connect has expanded its roster of social networking and social media services that participating Web publishers can add to their sites.

Friend Connect now has a new section called "Interests" that lets Web publishers pose questions to visitors who register with their sites about their likes, hobbies and preferences.
[read on]

Helping Grandpa Get His Tech On
The New York Times, 10/28/2009

A few days before my 100-year-old mother's death this summer, she said she had only one regret: not being able to see her family in California again.

But then I realized that I had my MacBook (with its built-in webcam) in my briefcase. A few phone calls later and my mother was using iChat to speak with and see her great-grandchildren for the first time in years.
[read on]

Face to Facebook: Technology replacing personal contact?
Mormon Times, 10/26/2009

When Jared Whitley really wants to work without distraction, he will retreat to the one room in his house without a wireless Internet signal.

It helps him avoid the temptation to check his e-mail, log into Facebook or peruse news-oriented sites such as the Drudge Report.
[read on]

The New Facebook News Feed and What It Means
The New York Times, 10/23/2009

Facebook just made one of the biggest changes to the site's user experience since the introduction of the News Feed three years ago. News Feed was the place in the very center of the site where all the activities of a user's friends were displayed in reverse chronological order.
[read on]

Unspoken rules govern cell phone etiquette
Reuters, 10/19/2009

It may not seem like it when commuters are shouting down their cell phones to the dismay of other passengers but most Americans believe there are unspoken rules about mobile phone etiquette.

Checking e-mails, sending text messages and making telephone calls while in the company of others are definite breeches of mobile manners.
[read on]

How Safe are Facebook Applications?
ReadWriteWeb, 10/16/2009

Recently, Roger Thompson, chief research officer at security firm AVG, discovered over half a dozen Facebook applications that had been compromised by malicious hackers. Although the apps' reach was small with relatively few users being affected, Thompson was concerned because it was the first time he had seen apps themselves hacked as opposed to something like Facebook profile pages, a common target for the still-spreading Koobface worm.

[read on]

Texting and your love life
CNN.com, 10/9/2009

Texting has become as ubiquitous as the cell phones that birthed them, but what is it doing to our love lives?

Can you imagine what a different movie "Casablanca" would be if, instead of suavely growling, "Here's looking at you, kid," Rick instead texted Ilsa: ;-)

[read on]

Facebook Now Tracking Gross National Happiness; Continues Hoarding Data
ReadWriteWeb, 10/5/2009

Facebook announced this afternoon that it is tracking what it calls its version of Gross National Happiness, based on an analysis of the positive and negative words people use when updating their Facebook status.

[read on]

Get everyone in U.S. online, panel says
Associated Press, 10/2/2009

The nation needs to give the same urgency to making sure all Americans have broadband access as the Eisenhower administration did in building an interstate highway system a half-century ago, a report released Friday concluded.

[read on]

More Proof: Facebook for the Rich, MySpace for the Poor
ReadWriteWeb, 9/28/2009

Oh how the mighty have fallen. The one time king of social networks, MySpace, now has the honor of being the site where the less affluent members of the online population stake their claims by way of bedazzled profiles overrun with auto-playing videos and songs. Meanwhile, the upscale, financially solvent users have moved on - and by moved on, we mean to Facebook, of course.

[read on]

Forget calls — now it's 'cn u pik me ^aftr skool?'
Associated Press, 9/21/2009

Teens and texting is a subject that's often discussed in pathological terms. They're texting in class! They're sexting! They're running up $5,000 bills! They need thumb therapy!

But texting isn't always bad.

[read on]

MySpace Now Goes Both Ways With Twitter
The New York Times, 9/21/2009

MySpace is jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. It's letting users sync their status updates with Twitter, adding another social networking service to the list of companies integrating with the fast-growing microblogging network.

[read on]

States give mixed signals on texting and driving
Associated Press, 9/18/2009

Fiddling with your iPhone behind the wheel can get you fined across much of the nation. But many states are more than happy to tweet you with up-to-the-minute directions on how to steer clear of a traffic jam.

It is a mixed signal that some safety experts and politicians say could be dangerous.

[read on]

To ban or not to ban? Social networking in the workplace
eChannelline, 9/10/2009

As more and more people go online to create profiles, share photos, news and gossip with friends and spend hours updating their details and friend lists, organizations are starting to reassess their approach to social networking in the workplace.

[read on]

Is texting the best way to nag your kids?
CNETNews.com, 9/7/2009

Parents have to fight hard to find new ways to get through to their offspring.

Naturally, there are those who might think it pointless to bother communicating with them at all.
Yet somehow parents keep trying like the spurned lovers of Cleopatra.

According to The Washington Post, the latest trend in parenting patter is to nag your kids by text.

[read on]

'Don't post that!' Networking etiquette emerges
Associated Press, 9/4/2009

Stephanie Kahn wanted to bask in her engagement for a few hours before diving into the task of calling aunts, uncles and good friends with the big news. And even before she could call them, she had a surprise party to attend, one that her fiance had set up for their parents and her "closest group of girlfriends."

[read on]

Not enough Facebook friends? Buy them
Reuters, 9/3/2009

Who says you can't buy friends? An Australian  online marketing company is selling friends and fans to Facebook members after offering a similar service to Twitter users.

Advertising, marketing and promoting company uSocial said it was targeting social networking sites because of their huge advertising potential.

[read on]

Social Security: Guarding Your Identity in Online Networks
TechNewsWorld, 8/26/2009

Without a doubt, the growth of social networking has exploded in recent years and has added value to the Internet by providing yet another exciting way for citizens all over the world to connect and interact. In fact, social networks like Facebook , MySpace , Twitter , LinkedIn and many smaller sites have become the preferred way many people communicate today as well as a growing business development tool. [read on]

5 Facebook users claim site breaks privacy laws
Associated Press, 8/17/2009

Five Facebook users filed a civil lawsuit Monday alleging that the social networking site is violating California's privacy laws and misleading members about how their personal information is used.

The lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court, asks for damages and attorney's fees and includes a request for a jury trial.

[read on]

Breakfast Can Wait. The Day’s First Stop Is Online.
The NewYork Times, 8/9/2009

Karl and Dorsey Gude of East Lansing, Mich., can remember simpler mornings, not too long ago. They sat together and chatted as they ate breakfast. They read the newspaper and competed only with the television for the attention of their two teenage sons.


That was so last century.

[read on]

Official to convene summit on drivers who text
Associated Press, 8/4/2009

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday he will convene a summit of experts to figure out what to do about driver cell phone use and texting, practices that studies — and a growing number of accidents — show can be deadly. [read on]

U r pwned! Texting paves way for hacking
Associated Press, 7/30/2009

Getting a text message is akin to someone sliding a piece of mail under your door: You may not have asked for it, you can't stop its delivery and you have to deal with it whether you want to or not. [read on]

Niche social sites fight Facebook's shadow
Reuters, 7/28/2009

What do you do when you're a small online social network trying to compete against a behemoth like Facebook?

The answer may be to try to carve out a separate path by becoming a niche Web site for a specific audience base that advertisers, hopefully, want to target.

[read on]

Teenagers beware - college admissions monitor social networking sites
Examiner.com, 7/22/2009

As if getting good grades, doing well on SATs and having a full extra-curricular resume weren’t enough, now kids have to worry about their public reputation as it is seen on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.  [read on]

The Future of Search: Social Relevancy Rank
The New York Times, 7/17/2009

FriendFeed has recently launched a search feature, and so Facebook search must be coming soon.

Real-time Web search (of streams of activities) is a hot topic right now. Everyone, including Google and Microsoft recognizes the value of using trusted contacts as filters.

[read on]

Facebook - 'The Accidental Billionaires'
CNBC, 7/14/2009

In a deal worth about $6.5 billion, Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies offered to pay the world's number one internet social networking site $14.77 a share....and this is on top of another deal DST made with Facebook back in May worth about $200 million.

One source says together, these two transactions will give DST a 3.5 percent stake in Facebook and it will make a lot of Facebook employees (past and present) very very happy.

[read on]

Social Media and the Job Search
BusinessWeek, 7/10/2009

In a climate where unemployment rates are at a 24-year high, and the average executive's tenure is only about three years, social media has become more than simply a fun way to chat with friends and share photos from a weekend in Las Vegas—it has evolved into an important job search and networking tool. [read on]

Most Social Network Users Unaware of the Security Risks
Softpedia, 7/1/2009

A new report from Internet security firm Webroot sheds some light on the behavior and awareness of social network users regarding security and privacy. The survey found that the majority of users of social networks like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or Twitter, 78 percent, were concerned about the privacy of their profiles yet their actions showed the contrary. [read on]

Centenarians show it's never too late to tweet
Reuters, 6/29/2009

Celebrities and hip adults aren't the only people flocking to Twitter, the social-networking site. Even centenarians have learned to tweet.

Three percent of U.S. centenarians questioned in a new survey said they use the service that allows users to send short text messages, or tweets, of up to 140 characters at least once a week to keep in touch with their friends and family.

[read on]

How Moms Feel About Social Media
The Wall Street Journal, 6/26/2009

Mothers have dramatically increased their use of social-networking tools in the past three years, according to a new survey of 25,000 women conducted by parenting site BabyCenter.

About 63% of moms used Facebook, Twitter and blogs this year, a whopping increase from 11% in 2006.

[read on]

Mind Your BlackBerry or Mind Your Manners
The New York Times , 6/21/2009

For the first half-hour of the meeting, it was hardly surprising to see a potential client fiddling with his iPhone, said Rowland Hobbs, the chief executive of a marketing firm in Manhattan.

At an hour, it seemed a bit much.

[read on]

Iran’s Internet battle hits new heights
MSNBC, 6/17/2009

As international media outlets are being pushed off the streets of Tehran, the burden of reporting on Iran's post-election crisis is falling increasingly on online channels ranging from blogs and video sites to Twitter and Facebook. [read on]

Texting is not talking
The Boston Globe, 6/16/2009

BY CONSERVATIVE estimates, American teenagers exchanged an average of 80 text messages a day in the fourth quarter of 2008, often to the tune of hundreds of dollars a month in cellphone charges. But research is starting to show that a teenager's texting may hurt more than the wallet. [read on]

Facebook’s Very Long Path to Oblivion
The New York Times, 6/9/2009

Facebook is becoming more like AOL. And I mean that in a good way.

This occurred to me when I read that Warner Brothers is adding Facebook functionality to its Blu-ray disks. Using BD-Live, a feature that lets the latest generation of Blu-ray players connect to the Internet, and new Warner releases, starting with “Watchmen,” users can set up a time when all of their friends can watch the film and trade onscreen comments.

[read on]

Who Needs a Yearbook When There's Facebook?
U.S. News and world Report, 6/3/2009

Challenged by the amount of time and energy today's teenagers devote to staying up to date on their friends' Facebook or MySpace pages or Twitter feeds, the traditional school yearbook is beginning to face a bit of an identity crisis. The extent to which students prefer free online social networking sites over shelling out cash for a hardbound copy of their class memories is unclear.[read on]

People Over 55 Are Quitting Facebook
The Business Insider, 5/27/2009

Facebook didn't land a $200 million investment at a $10 billion valuation because it's popular with the kids; it got that much because the plan is for Facebook to be a "social utility" for people of all ages.

Here's the problem Mark Zuckerberg and crew: Your Mom might not be on Facebook anymore.

[read on]

Texting May Be Taking a Toll
The New York Times, 5/25/2009

They do it late at night when their parents are asleep. They do it in restaurants and while crossing busy streets. They do it in the classroom with their hands behind their back. They do it so much their thumbs hurt.  [read on]

OMG! Teens go 10 days without texting, tech
TODAYShow.com, 5/18/2009

When the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia suggested that students in the area try giving up their cell phones, computers, iPods and video games for 10 days, David Silver didn’t think much of the idea. Live without text messages? He couldn’t do that for an hour, much less 10 days. [read on]

The Trouble With Twitters
The New York Times, 5/13/2009

Tribbles — the adorable balls of fluff brought aboard the starship Enterprise during an early episode of the original “Star Trek” — seemed innocuous enough at first. But it quickly became clear the cuddly pets were a menacing nuisance as they reproduced too rapidly to manage. [read on]

Title this new Facebook chapter 'Parental Posting'
Daily News, 5/4/2009

It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where your children are? They're on Facebook, avoiding their moms!

"[Our kids] make it seem like it's this world that we've invaded," says Roselle Farina Hecht, a 56-year-old Staten Island mother of four. "And I guess we get that, but, you know, we aren't trying to hurt them."
[read on]

Swine flu outbreak tracked with Twitter
Discovery, 4/28/2009

Powerful disease-tracking tools, including those currently monitoring the spread of swine flu across the world, were once reserved for officials at the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. No longer. [read on]

Tired of Old Web Friends? A New Site Promises Strangers
The New York Times, 4/26/2009

Even from its earliest days, the Internet has promised to bring together people based on common interests rather than ZIP codes. But the sudden rise of a new Web site suggests some people are growing weary of all that sameness. [read on]

New Social Management Website Helps Active Families Manage Daily Tasks, Activities and Appointments
emailwire.com, 4/23/2009

When it comes to organizing and coordinating school, sports and church activities, parents of active families now have a more practical alternative to email, spreadsheets and frustrating phone tag.  [read on]

MSNBC, 4/20/2009

"GO BADGERS" isn't an unusual message to get from the University of Wisconsin at Madison - particularly when it's a status update from Twitter, the texting service that limits users to 140 characters at a time.

The unusual thing about this message is how it got to Twitter in the first place: via brain waves.

[read on]

Oprah Is Keeping Twitter Hot
GigaOM, 4/17/2009

Twitter Founder Ev Williams went on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to talk about his San Francisco-based micro-messaging startup, and in the process turned his red hot company hotter. It’s not clear how many people are going to sign up for the service following the broadcast of Oprah’s show (and her subsequent twittering), but one thing is for sure: It was going to test Twitter’s infrastructure. [read on]

Time Warner shelves plan to cap Internet use
MSNBC, 4/16/2009

Time Warner Cable Inc. is shelving its plan to bill customers based on how much Internet traffic they generate, following mounting public and political outcry.

Time Warner Cable's capitulation doesn't bode well for the future of metered billing of the Internet, in which people who use more bandwidth pay more.

[read on]

Facebook users get worse grades in college
LiveScience, 4/13/2009

Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users, according to a survey of college students who also ironically said the social networking site does not interfere with studying.

That disconnect between perception and reality does not necessarily mean that Facebook leads to less studying and worse grades — the grades association could be caused by something else.

[read on]

For teens, a friend online is usually a friend offline, too
USA Today, 4/2/2009

New research about online and offline friends shows that most teens use the Internet to interact with people they already know rather than strangers who might turn out to be predators. [read on]

Twitter, Facebook Can Improve Work Productivity
PC World, 4/2/2009

Using Twitter and Facebook at work will make you a better employee, says the University of Melbourne.

According to a study by the Australian University, 70 percent of office employees use the internet at work for personal reasons. Of them, nine percent were more productive compared to employees that didn't use the web for fun.

[read on]

Facebook And Kids: Are Their Brains Ready for Social Networking?
The Huffington Post, 3/22/2009

As a mother, I have recently discovered Facebook. My kids knew about it long ago and I poo pooed it as another mindless waste of time. Finally, I joined so I could track my kid's antics like a sneaky James Bond spy. Trouble is - I somehow got hooked myself. Suddenly, friends from far and wide started popping up. [read on]

Social Web sites face transparency questions
Associated Press, 3/21/2009

Yelp.com prides itself on being a site where people can write reviews about pretty much anything and connect with similarly critical peers. Yet as the site grows, some of the businesses scrutinized on Yelp are turning the tables and griping about the company itself. [read on]

InformationWeek, 3/20/2009

My 13-year old daughter and I attended an information session on the dangers of social networking presented by Children Online at my daughter's public school in New York City last night.

Doug Fodeman, who gave the adult version of the session (the kids were given a sanitized version by Fodeman's colleague, Marje Monroe, in another room), began by announcing, "I'm no Luddite."

[read on]

Nielsen: Twitter Was Fastest Growing Community Last Month
ReadWriteWeb, 3/19/2009

Last night, Nielsen Online reported that Twitter has now surpassed Facebook and others to become the fastest-growing site in the "Member Communities" category for the month of February. Although Facebook, the world's most popular social network, has more members than Twitter, that's not what this measurement is about - it's about growth. [read on]

Grandpa is ... browsing your Facebook page
Associated Press, 3/10/2009

When your 88-year-old grandfather sends a request to be your "friend" on Facebook, you have two choices: Either confirm it, then quickly take down all those party pictures you thought were so funny, or plan on never coming home for the holidays. [read on]

Social Networking Now More Popular Than Email, Report Finds
ReadWriteWeb, 3/9/2009

Nielsen Online, an analytics firm that tracks time spent online at various websites, has issued a report finding that throughout 2008 social networking sites and blogs saw more time spent by users than personal email. While not shocking, the finding does mark an important point in the history of the web. [read on]

When Everyone’s a Friend, Is Anything Private?
The New York Times , 3/7/2009

FACEBOOK has a chief privacy officer, but I doubt that the position will exist 10 years from now. That’s not because Facebook is hell-bent on stripping away privacy protections, but because the popularity of Facebook and other social networking sites has promoted the sharing of all things personal, dissolving the line that separates the private from the public. [read on]

Facebook Plans Changes to Friend Updates
The New York Times, 3/4/2009

In recent months, Facebook, the popular social network, has endured a user rebellion over changes to its terms of service, reports of a failed takeover of Twitter, and its founder’s somewhat awkward appearance on the Today Show.

On Wednesday it gathered technology journalists at its Palo Alto offices to talk about something a little more run-of-the-mill: some straightforward but significant changes to its site.

[read on]

Like everyone else, celebrities all a-Twitter
Associated Press, 3/3/2009

Celebrity can be an interesting thing when distilled down to 140 characters or less.

As the micro-blogging platform Twitter.com has gone mainstream, an increasing number of celebrities have opened up accounts where they post messages — or "tweet" — about their daily lives. A tweet can't exceed 140 characters, but that limitation hasn't prevented the famous from revealing a new digital dimension of themselves.

[read on]

The Health Effects of Social Networking
The New York Times, 2/24/2009

Is social networking killing you? Well, no, probably not. Or at least, not literally. But two British scientists have recently suggested that spending all day, and — admit it — much of the night networking on a computer might in fact be bad for your body and your brain. [read on]

Facebook Withdraws Changes in Data Use
The New York Times, 2/18/2009

Facebook, the popular social networking site where people share photos and personal updates with friends and acquaintances, lost some face on Wednesday.

After three days of pressure from angry users and the threat of a formal legal complaint by a coalition of consumer advocacy groups, the company reversed changes to its contract with users that had appeared to give it perpetual ownership of their contributions to the service.
[read on]

The Blog That Ignited a Privacy Debate on Facebook
The New York Times, 2/18/2009

By now, the three-day maelstrom surrounding Facebook’s effort to re-jigger its terms of service to give it more control over users’ content has settled down a bit: the social networking service restored the original language early Wednesday, and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, solicited the input of members to help draft a new set of rules.  [read on]

10 Best Websites for Kids
Digital Trends, 2/12/2009

When I was researching this article, I asked my kids what their favorite sites were. My daughter told me she liked www.girlsgogames.com, which is a free online game site for girls.

So lo and behold, I went to the website, started poking around, clicked on “Adventure” and voila… up came a selection for “Kissing Games.” I clicked on that, and then options for “Speed Dating,” “Kissing During Work,” and the enigmatic “Oriental Kissing Game” came up.

[read on]

You Can’t Friend Me, I Quit!
Newsweek, 2/4/2009

I was a late convert to Facebook, the social-networking site that turned five years old Wednesday. I joined about a year ago at age 47, swept up in the massive wave of people turning the corner to the back nine of life, and pitifully trying to do what comes so naturally to our sons and daughters. My own 16-year-old, Grace, literally cried from embarrassment when I told her I was signing up, and she begged me through her tears not to do it. [read on]

New Illness: Facebook Depression?
The New York Times, 2/2/2009

This may sound like a joke, but it's not: researchers at Stony Brook University in New York have found that too much Facebook usage can leave you more prone to anxiety and depression...that is, if you're a teenage girl. In a study, a group of 13-year old girls were evaluated by psychology professor Dr. Joanne Davila and her colleague, Lisa Starr. A year later, the researchers followed up with the girls, testing them for depressive symptoms. [read on]

Kids and cell phones: A crosswalk hazard?
MSNBC, 1/26/2009

More parents are looking to cell phones to help keep their children safe. But mom and dad should be aware: Kids who talk on a cell phone may be more likely to step into traffic, a new study shows. [read on]

Melding Obama’s Web to a YouTube Presidency
The New York Times, 1/25/2009

Lyle McIntosh gave everything he could to Barack Obama’s Iowa campaign. He helped oversee an army that knocked on doors, distributed fliers and held neighborhood meetings to rally support for Mr. Obama, all the while juggling the demands of his soybean and corn farm. [read on]

Social Networks Are the New Web Portals
BusinessWeek, 1/21/2009

Not long ago, it seemed that four companies would forever dominate the Web in traffic and ad dollars. Each of the Big Four—Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO), Microsoft's (MSFT) MSN, and Time Warner's (TWX) AOL—attracts more than 100 million unique visitors a month. Collectively the group accounts for roughly 90% of gross ad dollars online. So far, so good.

But now those companies are facing a threat to their dominance.
[read on]

Hitwise: Twitter surpasses Digg's market share
CNETnews.com, 1/20/2009

Could the odd confluence of a US Airways jet crash-landing in the Hudson River and Barack Obama's presidential inauguration finally push Twitter over the top and into the broad mainstream consciousness?

That could be the case, according to statistics released Tuesday by Hitwise, an Internet analysis firm.

[read on]

Inaugurating Social TV
The New York Times, 1/20/2009

CNN’s live streaming of the inauguration next to a feed from Facebook is a powerful demonstration of how television can use social media and an equally powerful demonstration of what Facebook can do for various Web sites.

As Jenna Wortham wrote, all sorts of Web sites and mobile services are using the inaugural festivities to show off their latest features.

[read on]

Girl Ambition: Facebook for tweens
The Industry Standard, 1/15/2009

Girl Ambition is trying to become the premier social networking site for tween girls.
The pink, flowery, butterfly-laden site launched yesterday and targets girls up to age 13, offering videos, contests, IM and e-mail. The site also lets parents control girls' buddy lists and filter content.
[read on]

Google On Pace To Take 75% Of Search Market
WebProNews, 1/14/2009

How long do you think it will take Google to corner a full three-fourths of the search market? According to the latest Hitwise report, not long. Does April or May sound too conservative?

That’s my own rough estimate, not Hitwise’s.

[read on]

Social Networks, Not Just For Kids Anymore
WebProNews, 1/14/2009

From the outset Facebook was a bit more grownup than MySpace, which has been, at least according to Internet legend, the teen realm. But as of the end of 2008, grownups have pretty much raided all of the social networks.

Recently, one teen I know lamented that his friends at school preferred Facebook. “MySpace is better,” he said. “They let you customize your page and there aren’t as many old people there.”

[read on]

The High Security Risk Attached to Obama’s Belt
The New York Times, 1/11/2009

Why can’t the most powerful person in the world keep his BlackBerry?

President-elect Barack Obama, who will take the oath of office next week, has repeatedly acknowledged a strong attachment to his Verizon BlackBerry 8830 World Edition smartphone, a k a the BarackBerry.

[read on]

What’s the Value of a Facebook Friend? About 37 Cents
The New York Times , 1/9/2009

You may not be able to get a coupon for a digital TV converter box, but if you’re experiencing a bit of bloat on your Facebook friend list, you can snag a free burger by dropping 10 of your Facebook friends, courtesy of Burger King.

That’s the gist of Whopper Sacrifice, an advertising campaign from Burger King to promote a new version of the company’s flagship sandwich called the Angry Whopper.

[read on]

Google, Facebook, MySpace and More Meet to Talk Activity Streams
ReadWriteWeb, 1/8/2009

Last night at the offices of blogging software company Six Apart, engineers and social media specialists from a number of companies large and small met to discuss proposed standards for the future of "activity streams" - the system of displaying recent activities of your friends online. [read on]

MySpace Medical
Newsweek, 1/5/2009

For adults, browsing MySpace.com can be a secret window onto how teenagers sculpt their public personas. Teens, one of the most wired groups in America, use the social-networking site to create profiles where they share clips of their favorite songs, post pictures or vent about a bad day. [read on]

Twitter-Savvy Hackers Tweak the Twitterati
The New York Times, 1/5/2009

Life’s not so tweet over at Twitter these days. The microblogging company, which allows users to broadcast short messages to groups of followers, recently found itself the target of a wave of hacking and phishing attacks.

The San Francisco company said Monday that 33 member accounts were hijacked, including those of President-elect Barack Obama, singer Britney Spears, and CNN correspondent Rick Sanchez.

[read on]

Facebook Won’t Budge on Breastfeeding Photos
The New York Times, 1/2/2009

Facebook is standing firm on a policy that has led to the removal of some photos posted by women that show breastfeeding.

The deletions have spurred Facebook members to stage protests both online and offline. Dozens of supporters gathered last Saturday at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., while online, more than 11,000 members participated in a virtual “nurse-in,” or changed their profile photos to images depicting women breastfeeding.

[read on]

Will The Great Depressed Push Facebook Higher?
GigaOM, 1/1/2009

Hitwise, a data analytics and research company, today released a report that indicated a big spike in Facebook traffic on Christmas Eve. The research firm says that Facebook hit a new high, with traffic “reaching 2.18% of all U.S. Internet visits compared with 1.42% average for November.”

That’s up 54 percent from November 2008 and 53 percent from December 24, 2007, when it set its last new record

[read on]

Evolution demands more Facebook drunkfail
msnbc, 12/30/2008

Google the name “Kevin Colvin” and your search results will most certainly include many blogs featuring the words “cautionary tale.” You’ll also get a bonus image of a smiling young man dressed in a winged fairy costume, holding a wand in one hand and a can of Busch Light in the other.

Colvin was an intern at Anglo Irish Bank's North American branch when he e-mailed his boss regarding a “family emergency” keeping him from the office around Oct. 31.

[read on]

On Twitter, Followers Aren’t Really Friends
GigaOM, 12/28/2008

This past weekend, we had yet another tempest in a teapot here in the blogosphere, this time over what, exactly, determines the authority of a tweet on Twitter. Some argued that the number of followers is the best yardstick with which to measure how important a tweet was, while others argued that it is who you follow that’s more valuable.

The high drama made me wonder: Why can’t a tweet just be a tweet?

[read on]

What Carriers Aren’t Eager to Tell You About Texting
The New York Times, 12/26/2008

TEXT messaging is a wonderful business to be in: about 2.5 trillion messages will have been sent from cellphones worldwide this year. The public assumes that the wireless carriers’ costs are far higher than they actually are, and profit margins are concealed by a heavy curtain. [read on]

The Perfect Social Tool
ReadWriteWeb, 12/24/2008

Robert Scoble just admitted to spending 7 hours per day in FriendFeed. It's easy to see why. The more you explore that service, the more you find, and the deeper you fall down into the rabbit hole that is the social web. It's probably one of the most interesting and powerful social sties that we've seen develop over the past year. Yet it, like many other of today's social web services, seems to be a somewhat incomplete vision of what a real social web could be. [read on]

Nielsen on the Increase of Online News Readership
WebProNews, 12/22/2008

Just after examining one print publisher's idea that staying away from the web would be in the best interest for his business, I came across a post on the Nielsen Online Blog indicating that going online is the key to print media's survival. [read on]

Need a Ride? Check Your iPhone
The New York Times, 12/20/2008

SOON you may no longer need to stick out your thumb to catch a ride. Instead, you may get one by tapping your fingers on your iPhone.

Avego, based in Kinsale, Ireland (www.avego.com), is demonstrating an iPhone application intended to let drivers and prospective passengers connect and share rides.

[read on]

Facebook Growth Explodes, Site Reaches 140 Million Active Users
The New York Times, 12/18/2008

If there's any doubt that Facebook is rapidly becoming the next big thing in social networks, you only need look at their recent statistics. According to new reports, in recent weeks Facebook is growing at a rate of 600,000 users each day, up from 300,000 to 400,000 users per day earlier this quarter. The company is also reporting that, as of today, they have reached 140 million active users.  [read on]

Aussie Couple Evades Painful Facebook Poke
TechNewsWorld, 12/16/2008

You've been "superpoked" -- and served. A court in Australia has approved the use of Facebook , a popular social networking Web site, to notify a couple that they lost their home after defaulting on a loan.

The Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court last Friday approved lawyer Mark McCormack's application to use Facebook to serve the legally binding documents after several failed attempts to contact the couple at the house and by e-mail.

[read on]

The Facebook Virus Spreads: No Social Network is Safe
ReadWriteWeb, 12/11/2008

"Koobface" is the name of the Trojan worm that's been making its way through the social networking site Facebook lately, but to the site's users, it's been simply known as "the Facebook virus." That name will soon become a misnomer, though, because the worm is now spreading outside of Facebook's walls to attack other social networks like Bebo, MySpace, Friendster, MyYearbook, and Blackplanet.  [read on]

Ms. Popularity
Newsweek Web Exclusive, 12/10/2008

Google serves up several billion search queries every single day, giving it incredible insight into what people are thinking and talking about. On Wednesday, the Internet giant released its year-end Zeitgeist report, which lists the most popular search terms of 2008 by country and topic. It also calculates the fastest risers and queries that have catapulted in popularity within the last year. [read on]

MySpace, Google join forces to beat Facebook
Associated Press , 12/9/2008

MySpace.com is teaming up with Internet search leader Google Inc. in a campaign to extend MySpace's reach and counter the expansion of their common rival Facebook Inc.

The alliance, unveiled late Monday in Paris, builds upon MySpace's seven-month-old effort to make it easier for the 127 million worldwide users of its online hangout to connect with their social circles while they're at other Internet destinations.

[read on]

Social Network Profile Costs Woman College Degree
The New York Times, 12/5/2008

Forget losing your job, apparently your MySpace or Facebook profile and photos can now cause you to lose your degree. In what may be one of the most frightening rulings regarding social networks and privacy to date, a federal judge has ruled against a former student of Millersville University of Pennsylvania who was denied her college degree because of an unseemly online photo and its accompanying caption found on her social network profile. [read on]

Expanding Social Horizons, Part 1
TechNewsWorld, 12/2/2008

There's been a growing concern among companies operating social networks such as Facebook , MySpace and LinkedIn -- as well as the hundreds of niche sites that have sprung up -- that too many of these online hubs could lead to paralysis among users. Inevitably, a user with too many sites to visit and update will abandon some, if not most. [read on]

Facebook Aims to Extend Its Reach Across the Web
The New York Times, 11/30/2008

Facebook, the Internet’s largest social network, wants to let you take your friends with you as you travel the Web. But having been burned by privacy concerns in the last year, it plans to keep close tabs on those outings.

Facebook Connect, as the company’s new feature is called, allows its members to log onto other Web sites using their Facebook identification and see their friends’ activities on those sites.

[read on]

Forget MySpace, MyBO is the Social Network of the Future
New America Media, 11/28/2008

Social media websites like YouTube and Facebook helped Barack Obama attain his presidency and will play an essential role to keep his administration closely connected to the public, said Obama campaign strategist Judith Freeman at the “New Media, New Organizing and the Obama 2008 Campaign” event held a few weeks after the presidential election at the New Media Institute (NMI).

“YouTube didn’t exist four years ago,” Freeman said. “But in the 2008 presidential election, the Obama campaign created and uploaded 1,800 videos onto YouTube.”

[read on]

Facebook had its eye on Twitter
Reuters, 11/25/2008

Social networking company Facebook recently held acquisition talks with Twitter, the micro-blogging company, the Financial Times said.

The negotiations, put a valuation of as much as $500 million on Twitter, which has become one of Silicon Valley's most closely watched start-ups, the paper said.

[read on]

Facebook wins $873M suit against spammer
Associated Press, 11/24/2008

Facebook has a won $873 million judgment against a Canadian man who bombarded the popular online hangout with sexually explicit "spam" messages.

The victory, sealed with a judge's order issued last Friday, probably won't yield a windfall for privately held Facebook Inc., whose revenue this year is expected to range between $250 million to $300 million.

[read on]

Teenagers’ Internet Socializing Not a Bad Thing
The New York Times, 11/19/2008

Good news for worried parents: All those hours their teenagers spend socializing on the Internet are not a bad thing, according to a new study by the MacArthur Foundation.

“It may look as though kids are wasting a lot of time hanging out with new media, whether it’s on MySpace or sending instant messages,” said Mizuko Ito, lead researcher on the study, “Living and Learning With New Media.”

[read on]

When you don't want to be Facebook friends
msnbc.com, 11/18/2008

Andrea Smith recently received a Facebook friend invitation from someone she went to junior high school with — 23 years ago.

“I found it kind of baffling,” said Smith, 38, of Ypsilanti, Mich. “I knew who she was, but I don’t recall that we were ever friends.  I don’t recall that we ever had a conversation.”

[read on]

The end of instant messaging (as we know it)
BusinessWeek, 11/17/2008

It's the end of instant messaging as we know it. Those chat boxes once commonplace on a computer desktop amid documents, Web browsers, and spreadsheets are giving way to a new breed of user-friendly, real-time conversation tools that Internet companies hope will keep users engaged with their content — and the advertising that appears alongside it.  [read on]

Update Your Status Across Dozens of Social Media Sites
WebProNews, 11/15/2008

Once you start "living" in more than one social media space, the idea of updating your status across multiple Web sites gets tedious fast.

However, Ping.fm is a tool that can update your status across dozens of popular social media sites. Once you sign up for Ping.fm you'll be able to add your login credentials for a host of popular social media sites.

[read on]

How Obama Tapped Into Social Networks’ Power
The New York Times, 11/9/2008

In February 2007, a friend called Marc Andreessen, a founder of Netscape and a board member of Facebook, and asked if he wanted to meet with a man with an idea that sounded preposterous on its face.

Always game for something new, Mr. Andreessen headed to the San Francisco airport late one night to hear the guy out. A junior member of a large and powerful organization with a thin, but impressive, résumé, he was about to take on far more powerful forces in a battle for leadership.

[read on]

140: The 2008 election's other magic number
msnbc.com, 11/8/2008

While 270 electoral votes is the target number to capture on election night, 140 has been key to capturing voters’ attention throughout this campaign season — 140 characters, that is.

Despite the seemingly infinite amount of space on the Internet, posting in paragraphs has become passé. Enter microblogging site Twitter.com, a social network that has broken political news, served as a barometer of real-time reaction to the candidates, and even caused scandal for the camps throughout the 2008 election season, all within the confines of dispatches (called “tweets”) no longer than 140 characters long.

[read on]

Facebook and MySpace lock horns for social networking future
Guardian Unlimited, 11/7/2008

In the past few years they have become synonymous with the social networking phenomenon – rivals fighting each other for millions of users. Yesterday internet giants Facebook and MySpace went head to head again, as they outlined audacious plans for the future.

Speaking in San Francisco, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he would continue plan to expand aggressively around the world – while the head of MySpace suggested the company might bring out its own music player to rival the iPod.

[read on]

MySpace to battle Apple's hot-selling iPod?
Reuters, 11/7/2008

MySpace, the popular online social network owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, could develop a digital music player in the future, pitting it against Apple Inc's hot-selling iPod. [read on]

MySpace deal lets members use copyright video
Associated Press , 11/3/2008

Instead of trying to take down all copyright-protected videos that its members post, MySpace will let certain clips stay — and give the creators of the original content a cut of the revenue from advertising that will be attached to the snippets. [read on]

The new AOL.com gets all social and stuff
Webware, 10/30/2008

Social networks are front and center in the latest redesign of AOL's AOL.com homepage, which the company announced Thursday and says it will start to gradually roll out to users over the next few weeks (unless they choose to opt in earlier).

A widget (or module, or gadget, or whatever you want to call it) on the new AOL.com features a tabbed interface with updates from five different social-networking and messaging services: AOL's own AIM and Bebo, MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook.

[read on]

Facebook in a Crowd
The New York Times, 10/24/2008

One day this past summer, I logged on to Facebook and realized that I was very close to having 700 online “friends.” Not bad, I thought to myself, absurdly proud of how many cyberpals, connections, acquaintances and even strangers I’d managed to sign up. [read on]

Facebook Supporting Legislation Fighting Sexual Predators
WebProNews, 10/16/2008

Facebook, Facebook. A year ago, it seemed we could hardly go a day without some newsworthy tidbit from the sweetheart of the social networking scene. These days, positive headlines—or any at all, since “ink is ink”—are much fewer and further between. But today, Facebook has two reasons to make the news: they’ve endorsed the new KIDS Act from the US federal government and they’re finally disbursing the fbFund for startups. [read on]

When Your Kid Won’t “Friend” You
The New York Times, 10/14/2008

I just joined a group called “Moms of Kids Who are Embarrassed They Have a Facebook.” It was founded just a few days ago, and last I checked it had grown to more than 152 members. Hope Greenberg, an attorney and mother of four on Long Island, created the group when she asked her 12-year-old daughter to “friend” her and the girl pushed back. [read on]

Boom in virtual playgrounds for kids
Stuff, 10/10/2008

Media groups and aspiring digital entrepreneurs are hoping to lure more youngsters online and to create new worlds that will capture adult imaginations.

It is estimated more than 200 virtual world projects are in development globally.
[read on]

How Facebook Changed Gaming
PC World, 10/4/2008

Video games are more mainstream than ever, becoming a $25 billion industry that reaches into living rooms everywhere. But gaming's growth isn't just due to the Nintendo Wii's explosive popularity. Rather, it's due to the booming resurgence of casual games --games that don't require an eidetic memory for commands and a 36-hour-per-level time commitment in order to provide enjoyable experiences for audiences of any skill set. [read on]

KidZui and Parents.com Partner to Promote Safe Online Discovery for Children
Yahoo.com, 9/30/2008

KidZui, The Internet for Kids (www.kidzui.com), and www.Parents.com -- the online home of American Baby, Parents and Family Circle -- are working together to enhance the KidZui experience and to introduce more families to KidZui's services.

Designed for kids age 3-12, KidZui is a revolutionary new free browser and online service that offers children access to more than 800,000 kid-friendly Web sites, videos and pictures -- reviewed by trained parents and teachers.

[read on]

The Etiquette of Social Networking
PC World, 9/30/2008

Social networks like Facebook and MySpace have turned many social norms inside out. Your online friends may not be friends offline--and you may not be exactly whom you claim to be, either. How to approach strangers online, handle unwelcome solicitations, or make real friends out of virtual ones is stuff your parents probably never taught you. Here's how etiquette experts would politely navigate the worlds of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  [read on]

Can you spot the Facebook narcissist?
Live Science, 9/26/2008

Facebook profiles can tell you more than just peoples' birthdays and what movies they like — they can reveal the self-adoring, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Georgia gave personality questionnaires to nearly 130 Facebook users and analyzed the content of their online profiles.

[read on]

Anonymity opens up split personality zone
MSNBC, 9/24/2008

One minute, they’re nice, normal people. The next, they’re frothing at the mouse.

“It’s mind-boggling the things people will say and even the things I will say,” says Catherine McIntyre, a 38-year-old medical billing specialist from Houston. “People who’d never say something horrible in real life will do it again and again and again online."

[read on]

Glubble: Safe Social Network for the Family
Mashable Social Networking News, 9/20/2008

There’s a social network for just about everything these days, so it’s no surprise that there are some for families now. Glubble is a family social network that focuses on the safety of your children. When you sign up with Glubble you create a separate social network from all the other members who have family networks there. [read on]

Wall Street Journal launches social network
Associated Press, 9/15/2008

The Wall Street Journal is borrowing elements from popular Internet hangouts like Facebook as it seeks to boost usage.

WSJ.com, one of the few news sites to restrict many of its stories to paying subscribers, is changing its layout to help nonpaying visitors navigate and identify free, ad-supported content. Those visitors will see a different home page from users who sign in as subscribers.

[read on]

Twittering From the Cradle
The New York Times , 9/10/2008

It would be easy to assume that the first month of Cameron Chase's life followed the monotonous cycle of eat-sleep-poop familiar to any new parent. But anyone who has read his oft-updated profile on Totspot, a site billed as Facebook for children, knows better. Cameron, of Winter Garden, Fla., has lounged poolside in a bouncy seat with his grandparents, noted that Tropical Storm Fay passed by his hometown, and proclaimed that he finds the abstract Kandinsky print above his parents' bed "very stimulating!"

[read on]

AT&T and Verizon Wireless Offer New Services for Friends
The New York Times , 9/9/2008

In the past few years, Verizon Wireless and AT&T have sought to court young consumers interested in keeping in touch with friends. Now they are turning their attention to everyone else.

Both companies announced on Tuesday new applications which will make it easier for customers to better view and monitor their social networks through a single source on their mobile phone.

[read on]

Facebook will test N.J.'s system for reporting internet abuses
The Star Ledger , 9/3/2008

The popular website Facebook will use a system developed by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office that helps teens and adults report unwanted advances and offensive material to authorities, officials said today.

Facebook, the world's largest social networking site with more than 100 million daily users, has agreed to test the "Report Abuse!" system for the next six months to determine whether it works better than what Facebook now uses, Attorney General Anne Milgram said.

[read on]

Anxious freshmen meeting first on Facebook
MSNBC, 8/28/2008

Filled with going-to-college angst, many incoming freshmen have spent plenty of time this summer soaking up campus life … on Facebook.

"It's all about social networking and meeting people before the year starts," says Antoinette Brou, who's headed for the University of California, Los Angeles. "College is definitely scary."

[read on]

Join the Qlubb: For the First Time, a New Social Networking Provider Organizes Groups Both Online and Offline
MarketWatch, 8/26/2008

Qlubb Inc. announced the launch of its flagship service, Qlubb.com, that enables real-life groups to quickly and easily get online and get organized. Whether it's a playgroup, classroom, PTA, book club, sports team, political action group, hobby group or even family, Qlubb enables groups of people to communicate and share online as well as build stronger ties offline. Qlubb provides the tools and resources to help groups accomplish their mission and goals.

[read on]

Disney Family.com Launches Social Networking Community for Parents
Fox Business, 8/20/2008

Disney Family.com today announced the launch of Disney Family.com Community, a new social networking site for parents. The site provides a customizable online destination for moms and dads to connect with other parents through shared interests such as hobbies, age of child(ren), family setup, parenting tips, geographic location and more.

[read on]

Facebook friends as job references?
MSNBC, 8/18/2008

Time was you could control the references a prospective employer contacted because you provided them with a well-thought out list of colleagues and former bosses you knew would provide glowing recommendations.

But with the proliferation of social networking sites loaded with lists of your contacts, and your contacts' contacts, it's like the Wild West of references for job seekers.
[read on]

Social networks get friendly with games
MSNBC, 8/15/2008

Before you play a game called "Who Has The Biggest Brain?" you have to ask yourself: Do I really want to know the answer to that question?

After all, this is a game that will run you through a battery of tests and then, with the mercilessness of a fifth-grade teacher, assess your intelligence based on your performance. More importantly, since this is a game that you play on Facebook, it will then show your friends and family members how your gray matter stacks up against theirs.

[read on]

Business Tips for Late Facebook Arrivals
BusinessWeek, 8/13/2008

We resisted for as long as we could. We, of course, being those late adopters to social networking who wondered why there was so much fuss over Facebook. How could those kids spend so many hours on the social network? Why don't they just call or send an e-mail?

In the beginning, we logged on to make sure our children's profiles were not riddled with facts and photos that would prevent them from ever holding an elected office.

[read on]

Facebook: No. 1 Globally
BusinessWeek, 8/13/2008

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to illustrate the impact of his social network, he tells a story about several young religious militants from Lebanon who changed their view of Western culture through Facebook friendships. The subtext to the tale is that free expression of ideas, enabled by the Web, bridges deep cultural divides. But we knew that: It's one of the central concepts behind the Olympics, after all. What we didn't know is that Facebook is in Lebanon.

In fact, Facebook is quickly expanding in many regions. The site is the top global social network, according to figures released by comScore (SCOR) on Aug. 12.

[read on]

Parents and teenagers meet on Facebook
Associated Press, 8/5/2008

NEW YORK - Julia McGovern was shocked when her mom sent her a "friend" request on Facebook. She had been on the social networking site for four years and had no idea her mother even knew what it was.

"It was my world," says Julia, 18, of Hopkinton, Mass. "She was still just emailing."

Not anymore.

[read on]

Photos: Look Who's Talking - New Social Network for Moms, Dads and Grandparents Adds Discussion Forums
The Wall Street Journal, 8/4/2008

WASHINGTON, August 4, 2008 -- Following its successful beta launch in May 2008, YadaHome.com ( www.yadahome.com) is giving Moms, Dads and Grandparents even more ways to engage, exchange and connect with one another. "Parents want a site where they can easily store, retrieve and share information. They also want to connect and communicate with other parents in similar situations. Adding groups and forums to our existing network of individual user profiles now provides our members with a unique, full-service social networking experience," said Maurice McKenzie, founder and President.

[read on]

Bill ban kids from Facebook, MySpace in libraries
USA Today, 7/28/2008

WASHINGTON — Congress is considering a bill that would bar children who use computers in public libraries from accessing Facebook and other social networking websites without parental permission.

Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, the Illinois Republican who sponsored the measure, says the proposal would keep sexual predators from contacting minors who are using a library computer.

[read on]

Researchers Help Define Next-generation Social Networking
PC World, 7/28/2008

The next generation of social networking will give people more tools for defining smaller online communities in a way that mimics the real world, academic researchers said Monday.

"One thing that's very broken in the social tools we have right now is context and boundaries and a sense of who I want to share what with," said Liz Lawley, director of the laboratory for social computing at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Many social-networking sites essentially force users to become part of a huge community, or they force users to choose whether someone else is a friend or not, with no other subtleties defining that relationship, she noted.

[read on]

Hitwise: MySpace leads social networks but Facebook is growing faster
BizReport, 7/24/2008

MySpace remains the king of the social networks with a nearly 72% market share, but close competitor Facebook isn't giving up. According to a new report from Hitwise, US consumers continue to choose MySpace over other social nets but the trend is beginning to change. MySpace shows -6% growth from June 2007 through June 2008 which Facebook showed 40% year over year (YoY) growth. Hitwise reports that Facebook has a 16% market share.

[read on]

A Secret Society of 30 Million
The New York Times, 7/22/2008

One of my great surprises from roaming the library stacks during graduate school was discovering that every author, no matter how minor, was already the subject of a quarterly or a newsletter. I would stumble upon a new name — Felicia Hemans, say, or Edward Young — and find that there was already a society devoted to their work, even, in many cases, a concordance and an annual meeting with elected officers. I had the distinct feeling that I had arrived late in the day, after the literary teams had all been chosen.

[read on]

I Freed Myself From E-Mail’s Grip
The New York Times, 6/29/2008

EARLIER this year, I became tired of my usual morning ritual of spending hours catching up on e-mail. So I did something drastic to take back control of my productivity.

I stopped using e-mail most of the time. I quickly realized that the more messages you answer, the more messages you generate in return. It becomes a vicious cycle. By trying hard to stop the cycle, I cut the number of e-mails that I receive by 80 percent in a single week.

[read on]

The Market Value of Social Networks: Facebook May Rule, Actually
VentureBeat, 6/23/2008

Is social networking company MySpace really more valuable than Facebook, just because it has more traffic in the large, lucrative U.S. market? No, not really. Yet that's the argument Techcrunch makes, in a piece that argues MySpace has the edge because advertisers spend more money online in the U.S. than in most other countries. Each U.S. user is more "valuable" than, say, a user in India or Canada, Techcrunch argues, because advertisers spend a lot less on each online user in those countries. So while Facebook may have surpassed MySpace abroad in overall usership numbers, MySpace is still more valuable, Techcrunch asserts. [read on]

Study Uncovers the Educational Benefits of Social Networking
Science Centric, 6/22/2008

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered the educational benefits of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. The same study found that low-income students are in many ways just as technologically proficient as their counterparts, going against what results from previous studies have suggested. The study found that, of the students observed, 94 percent used the Internet, 82 percent go online at home and 77 percent had a profile on a social networking site. When asked what they learn from using social networking sites, the students listed technology skills as the top lesson, followed by creativity, being open to new or diverse views and communication skills. [read on]

5 Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe Online
ABC News, 6/19/2008

For the majority of teens and tweens, networking online isn't just a game, it's a necessity. But parents worry their children don't fully grasp the ramifications of posting personal information online. There are ways to protect your child. Cybersecurity expert Parry Aftab, who is also the executive director of wiredsafety.org, tells you the five things your child needs to know to keep safe on sites like Myspace and Facebook. [read on]

Disney Family.com Gearing Up For Parent-Focused Social Net Launch
Washingtonpost.com, 6/17/2008

Parentpedia. Family Blogger. Comment Contest. Consider these just some of the elements of DisneyFamily.com that laid the groundwork for the company's next project, the summer launch of its parent-focused social network, Disney Family.com Community. The ad-supported site is open to both mothers and fathers, but mothers are the target audience. While still in the QA phase of development, Disney's Family Network's director-marketing Maureen Bergmueller and director-user interface design and community Maria McManus walked me through a demo of the social net's key features.[read on]

Daddies Go Digital
ABC News, 6/13/2008

Traditionally, moms are the parents actively seeking online help on child-rearing. But with a spate of new social networks, suddenly it looks like there's about to be a cyber 180. Several social networking sites just for fathers have recently caught the attention of eager daddies across the country, researchers say. Sites such as www.dadosphere.com, www.justdaddys.net and www.discoveringdad.net offer fathers the opportunity to connect with each other and blog on issues such as handling their wives' postpartum depression, being an Army dad and juggling life with kids. Like traditional networking sites, these venues allow men to upload photos, join groups and initiate discussions with each other. [read on]

Social Networking for Babies. A New Trend?
Wptv.com, 6/6/2008

NBC- Connecting and networking online are huge trends these days, especially for teens, the college set, and young professionals. Well, there's now social networking for babies, with a bunch of web sites that do the same thing as MySpace and Facebook, but for the toddler set. Privacy is also a big part of the baby sites. Think traditional baby book in the internet age, with baby photos, videos, milestones, growth charts and journal entries posted in one centralized site. [read on]

Can Start-up Wired Trust Build a Web 2.0 Safety Net?
CNET News.com, 5/13/2008

A group of Internet safety experts plans to announce next month a new start-up aimed at helping social networks provide safer Web 2.0 environments for kids and adults. The company, called Wired Trust, will officially launch July 1. It will be one of the first consulting companies designed specifically to help social networks and kids' virtual worlds navigate safety issues in an age of cyberbullying, Internet predators, and anything-goes content from members. [read on]

Facebook Partners with AG's for Kids' Safety
PCWorld, 5/8/2008

Facebook is following in the footsteps of its rival MySpace by reaching an online safety agreement with the attorneys general of 49 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. As part of the agreement, Facebook is pledging to implement new safety measures and refine existing ones, as well as affirming its participation on the Internet Safety Task Force that MySpace launched in January with the attorneys general. Specifically, Facebook is making commitments around locking profiles of members who are under 18 years old, Facebook announced Thursday. [read on]

Facebook, MySpace Faceoff
Seacoastonline.com, 3/20/2008

Profiles. Wall posts. Groups. Photos. Friends. Events. Those unfamiliar with the online world of social networking may find it a scary place. According to some Internet observers, however, social networking sites are the future of cyberspace. Not only must wannabe networkers learn how to navigate these sites, however, they must pick which sites they want to use. Facebook and MySpace are by far the most popular, each growing quickly and each claiming millions of users. [read on]

Facebook Gives Users More Privacy Controls
USA Today, 3/19/2008

The Palo Alto-based company said it would add features Tuesday night that will give its 67 million active users the option of selecting individual users who can or can't access certain parts of their pages. For example, someone who uploads a racy batch of photos or lists his cellphone number or personal e-mail address on his Facebook page can now bar some people on his list of friends from seeing any of that information. Previously, the only ways to block people from seeing specific content was to deny their friend requests outright or to create a limited profile. The second solution had the downside of blocking entire groups of people from a wide swath of content. [read on]

Social Networking: The New Face of Recruiting
Campus Technology, 3/6/2008

Social networking sites aren't just for fun. In what may be the future for college recruiting efforts, some 300,000 students now use a social networking site called Zinch specifically to network with colleges. On Zinch, prospective students can enter a personal profile that gives colleges in-depth information well beyond grades and test scores. From the other side, Zinch says that more than 450 colleges and universities are using Zinch as a high-powered recruiting tool.[read on]

Social Networking Sites Offer New Way To Connect
Onalaska Community Life, 2/28/2008

There is only one place in the entire world where 12,000 people can come together to refute the claims that happy cows come from California, and there is only one place where a U.S. presidential candidate can have fewer "friends" than a ninth-grader from Wyoming. Welcome to the wonderful world of online social networking sites, a magical place where people from far and wide come together to form everlasting bonds from temporary "friend" statuses.[read on]

Social Networking Sites, A Parent Trap?
WDTV.COM, 2/25/2008

A new web warning for families, More and more parents are getting burned with their kids spill family secrets online. Some moms and dads are even getting arrested or fired. These websites offer kids a forum, but sometimes what they say can get their parents in serious trouble. Teens don't often know it, but many families are getting hurt according to Internet Safety Expert Parry Aftab. [read on]

One Friend Facebook Hasn't Made Yet: Privacy Rights
New York Times, 2/18/2008

A co-worker apologized to me recently for being slow on a task. "It's probably just your insomnia from last night," I said. She was confused about how I knew, but I reminded her we were Facebook friends, and that she had posted a "status update" about her sleeplessness.

It's a common phenomenon: people "friending" work colleagues on Facebook and then discovering that - as Seinfeld's George Costanza would melodramatically put it - "worlds collide." I gained all sorts of insights into another young co-worker when her college friends left reminiscence-filled birthday wishes on her Facebook "wall."
[read on]

Quitting Facebook Gets Easier
New York Times, 2/13/2008

Aiming to address the privacy concerns of disenchanted users, Facebook.com said on Tuesday that it was trying to make it easier for people to delete their accounts permanently from the social networking site.[read on]

How Sticky Is Membership On Facebook
New York Times, 2/11/2008

Some users have discovered that it is nearly impossible to remove themselves entirely from Facebook, setting off a fresh round of concern over the popular social network's use of personal data.[read on]

Chat Rooms, IM Riskier Than Social Networking Sites For Kids
Computerworld, 2/6/2008

Parents who are concerned about their children being exposed to sexual predators and harassment on the Internet need to stop thinking of social networking sites, such as MySpace.com and Facebook, as the biggest threats. Rather, it is in chat rooms and on instant messaging sessions that children are more likely to become victim of predators and unwanted sexual solicitation in general. That's the finding of a study conducted by child health researchers at Internet Solutions for Kids Inc., a Santa Ana, Calif.-based nonprofit group, and the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.[read on]

N.Y. Lawmakers Announce Social-Networking Safety Legislation
CNET, 1/29/2008

New York's lawmakers have introduced legislation to keep convicted sex offenders off the likes of Facebook and MySpace. In a press conference on Tuesday, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, State Sen. Joseph Bruno, and Assemblyman Sheldon Silver unveiled details of the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (E-Stop), a new bill to crack down on the presence of sex offenders on the Internet, specifically on sites where they could get in touch with minors. The legislation aims to restrict convicted sex offenders' Web use, banning them from social networks like Facebook and News Corp.'s MySpace. [read on]

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