• Mexican Cartels Target Social Media Users
    Since the Mexican government declared war on powerful drug cartels in 2006, social media has emerged as one of the main platforms for reporting about drug-related crime and corruption, filling a void left by professional journalists who were intimidated into silence. But for all its supposed advantages, including online anonymity, social media is hardly secure, as was demonstrated by the murder of two online critics earlier this week.
  • NATO, Taliban Throw Down on Twitter
    "Cyber-warfare" usually refers to high-level hacking, but this gives the phrase a whole new meaning: a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force has been dueling on Twitter with a spokesman for the Taliban about their respective treatment of Afghan civilians, tactics and strategy, and prospects for winning the war. Although it seems unlikely that Twitter pissing matches will take the place of actual combat, the microblogging service does provide an entertaining (and non-violent) forum for opposing sides to voice their differences.
  • Facebook is #1 Android App for Women
    "Women be [accessin' Facebook via mobile devices]," if I may paraphrase Sinbad rather inelegantly. My new stand-up bit on gender differences is based on the latest data from Nielsen documenting the top Android apps for men, women, and the overall population.
  • Healthcare Professionals Using Social Media More, Survey Finds
    Healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, administrators and I.T. managers for hospitals, are using social media for both personal and professional purposes, according to a survey carried out in April and May of this year by Frost & Sullivan in conjunction with QuantiaMD and the Institute for Health Technology Transformation. The new study based on the survey confirms social media's applicability to the healthcare industry, but also highlights major obstacles to further adoption, including privacy, liability, and regulatory concerns.
  • Older Internet Users Drive Mobile Social Adoption
    Shattering one of the most common stereotypes about social network adoption, NM Incite (a joint venture of Nielsen and McKinsey) found that "Internet users over the age of 55 are driving the growth of social networking through the Mobile Internet," according to the most recent "State of the Media: The Social Media Report" from NM Incite, covering the third quarter of 2011. Americans in this age cohort showed the biggest increase in mobile social networking activity, up 109% from the same period in 2010, compared to a 68% increase among people ages 35-54 and a 61% increase among people ages …
  • Do People "Like" Facebook Less Than Before?
    In several previous posts I discussed the possibility that Facebook is approaching natural limits on user growth and engagement, which prompted some indignant responses (via comments and email) from readers who I will call "the Facebook fanatics," among whom it is apparently an article of faith that Facebook will continue growing and sucking up a larger share of online activity, like, forever. So I thought it might be appropriate to return to the issue, looking at both sides of the argument and sharing the results of an informal poll I did.
  • Facebook Is Breathing Down Google's Neck... Well, Ankle
    Google's paranoia about Facebook is an established fact; much as Google execs may claim Google+ isn't intended to compete with Facebook, it's hard to take the assertion at face value, considering how many areas of overlap there are between the new social network -- sorry, I mean "suite of social tools" -- and Facebook.
  • Facebook Is Now PR-Savvy, Says Facebook PR Consultant
    Despite what you may have heard, Facebook's management is actually closely attuned to public opinion and its relationship with the press, according to a recent article in Ad Age citing Clarity Media Group CEO Bill McGowan, who has trained dozens of Facebook execs (including founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg) in the art of "media relations."
  • Check Out Why People Are Checking In (Or More Likely, Not)
    When it comes to things like Foursquare, I guess you could call me a square. I've never checked in with the geo-social service, or on any others. I just never saw the benefit of doing that, aside from letting industry insiders know how up-to-speed I am, or perhaps, letting local burglars know when I'm away from home. Why am I telling you this? Because it seems I am not alone. For all the industry hype surrounding geo-social services, most people just don't get them, according to a new study released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
  • Piling On
    It's Friday, and I'm filling in for "Social Graf" regular Erik Sass who is on a much deserved vacation. So let's see how on top of the social graph I actually am. In fact, let me turn the tables and see how on top of it you are. Which of the following are true: A) Social network Facebook has pulled out of the daily deals business, but is getting into the online music business instead. B) Social network Myspace, which is best known for its connections to musicians, has been acquired by an actor who portrayed the founder of the …
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