• Facebook Plans Mega Data Center in NC
    Storing the minute, up-to-date details of 600 million lives takes a lot of memory and a lot of power. According to Facebook, users add 100 million new photos every day and share more than 30 billion pieces of content on Facebook each month. Factor in its continued breakneck growth rate, and the world's largest social network needs more data storage, and soon. With its latest move, Facebook joins Google and Apple, which built data centers in western North Carolina after being wooed by cheap land and tax incentives from friendly state and county governments.
  • Study: Social Media Makes Kids Sick, Bad
    Scarcely a week goes by without the news media circulating a questionable, but highly reportable, study purporting to document the ills caused by social media. This week is no exception: the latest entry comes from Case Western Reserve's School of Medicine, with a study warning that excessive use of social media -- specifically, "hypertexting" (sending more than 120 messages per school day) and "hypernetworking" (spending more than three hours per day on sites like Facebook) -- is linked to dangerous health problems and antisocial behavior in teens.
  • Doctors Without Social Media Borders
    There's a joke about socialized medicine in here somewhere: After lagging behind other businesses because of patient privacy concerns, doctors are finally starting to use social media to communicate with patients and each other, according to the American Medical News, the trade newspaper of the American Medical Association. Indeed, the trend is significant enough that many hospitals are hiring social media managers to handle all the medical tweeting and Facebook activity.
  • Webroot Debuts Social Media Sobriety Test
    Perhaps buoyed by the scene in the film "The Social Network" where a young Mark Zuckerberg creates FaceMash while drunk blogging about the girl who just dumped him, online security firm Webroot has created a hilarious "Social Media Sobriety Test" that assesses your chemical state of being to determine whether you should be allowed to access social media accounts and start firing off messages in the wee hours. As Webroot explains, "Nothing good happens online after 1am," and the service is intended to prevent those humiliating incidents which result from the intersection of two bottles of wine and a Blackberry, …
  • Facebook Sees the Future, and It is Mobile (and Gaming and Check-ins)
    Facebook is moving decisively in three related areas, which it has identified as key growth areas based on its own recent experience as well as outside events: mobile access, casual gaming, and mobile check-ins (a small but growing subset of mobile access). The world's largest online social network recently unveiled two big deals which should allow it to monetize mobile check-ins as and buttress its already considerable lead in casual gaming. There's no question smartphone-users are a logical target for Facebook, considering the unmistakable trend lines: in under two years, the number of people checking into Facebook via mobile devices …
  • Compared to Previous Elections, Social Traffic Booms
    In a testament to the growing reach and engagement of social media, online traffic to social networks increased between the 2008 general elections and the 2010 midterm elections on Tuesday, as reflected in a number of metrics.
  • Foursquare Offers Election Day Check-Ins, Badges
    Could location-based social media encourage participatory democracy? Well, it can't hurt. While it would be kind of sad if the only reason someone voted was to get a badge on Foursquare, the special limited-edition "iVoted" badge offered by the social network for today's elections is a neat way for voters to display their civic commitment. A map of the U.S. on Foursquare, created by JESS3, showed that the most check-ins were -- surprise -- taking place in California and New York, followed by Illinois and Florida. Presuming the check-ins are concentrated in hip urban areas like Chicago and Miami, I'm …
  • Political Junkies Will Celebrate, Commiserate Online
    Tuesday will decide the outcome of a political season that was especially fraught, with feelings running high amid bitter controversies over healthcare, government spending, and immigration -- not to mention witches, make-believe Nazis, and the rent being too damn high. Obviously this is going to be a highly engaging election night, no matter how you look at it: Republicans partisans will probably be celebrating, while Democratic supporters will follow the exit polls with something approaching dread. On the media front, broadcast and cable news always scores high on election night, of course -- but it's also the kind of event …
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