• Social Media/Split Personality?
    A few days ago an 18-year-old Rutgers freshman, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide after his roommate surreptitiously broadcast him "making out with a dude" on the Internet and publicized it on his Twitter account. His roommate, Dharun Ravi, and another Rutgers student, Molly Wei (both 18) are being charged with invasion of privacy, carrying a potential sentence of up to five years in prison. Clearly this is a tragic situation all round -- for Clementi, the victim of callous adolescent bullying converging with digital media, but also for the alleged culprits, who probably had no idea of the stakes they were …
  • Why Aren't More People Creating?
    The Internets are abuzz with some new findings from Forrester Research suggesting that, while the number of people using social media may still be growing, the number of people who are actually creating original content has leveled off in the last few years. In fact, Forrester found that the proportion of "online creators" -- meaning, people who actively maintain a blog, upload videos and music, or write articles -- in the U.S. social media audience dipped from 24% to 23% from 2009-2010. The Forrester finding naturally raises the question "why?" It also throws new light on the evolving structure of …
  • Facebook Likes NAMBLA?
    Oh, Facebook. You know how you were trying to clean up your image, especially regarding online safety for children? Especially protecting kids from sexual predators? Well, I'm no PR whiz, but I feel like you may want to reconsider letting the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) use Facebook to organize local chapters and share tips on their nefarious pursuit of underage love.
  • Unflattering Movie Ads: An Important Test for Facebook
    If someone made a not-so-complimentary movie about me someday, I imagine I would be pretty pissed off. On one hand, if the movie is inaccurate, it must be infuriating to have one's reputation wrongly besmirched in front of millions of people, with no recourse. On the other hand, if it's accurate -- well, they nailed you, and no one likes to get called out on their misdoings. And if it happens to be somewhere in between -- an unflattering mix of truth and falsehood -- you probably end up where Mark Zuckerberg appears to be now regarding "The Social Network": …
  • Were You Affected by the Facebook Outage?
    Western civilization collapsed briefly yesterday when Facebook became unavailable to many users for periods of up to several hours. The outage, which the company hasn't deigned to explain, enforced an unexpected period of social media "cold turkey" similar to recent "no social media" experiments conducted by colleges -- albeit unannounced and obviously on a much larger scale.
  • GOP Social Media Push Is Savvy, But Risks Backlash
    Politics is the third rail of the business world; I always find it interesting how people go to great lengths to avoid talking about politics at industry conferences and meet-ups, where the topic is almost as verboten as, say, sex lives and drug habits. On that note, I'd like to issue this disclaimer ahead of time: I think both of our major political parties have failed disgracefully and we'd be better off governed by the cast of Jersey Shore.
  • What's Old Is New: Huddler Revisits the First Social Wave
    Social media is approaching an important juncture, as big established networks seem to be reaching saturation and smaller networks are also stabilizing. It appears unlikely that audiences will continue to grow at the same rate that they have over the last decade, suggesting that future growth will focus on convincing under-utilizing groups to join, or "doubling up" by convincing existing users to join multiple networks.
  • Twitter Hacked by Porn Sites, SPAM
    Either everyone on Twitter is getting into the porn business, or the microblogging service was temporarily infested today by a rather devious hack which distributed SPAM and promoted porn sites. The phishing hack came in the form of a Javascript "exploit" which merely required Twitter users to mouse over certain eye-catching tweets (no click necessary) before re-tweeting the SPAM messages and re-directing users to yet more SPAM or porn sites. Graham Cluley, a security expert with Sophos, explained: "The Twitter website is being widely exploited by users who have stumbled across a flaw which allows messages to pop-up and third-party …
  • Facebook Is Top Source of Malware, 'Status-Jacking'
    Among well-known social media sites, Facebook is the biggest distributor of malware to computers owned by companies with 15 to 1,000 employees, according to Panda Security, which specializes in Web-based computer security products. But in large part this dubious honor merely reflects Facebook's popularity as a tool used by companies for online networking, collaboration, and marketing.
  • Workers Are Lazy Ingrates, Say Evil Bosses
    This week brings more data fueling the unending, unedifying struggle between office drones and bosses, with surveys suggesting about one third of the average office workday is devoted to surfing the Web -- with a good chunk of that going to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. But as always, I have to wonder whether all this "wasted time" actually has a negative impact on productivity?
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