One of the many miraculous attributes credited to social media by cyber-utopians is its ability to confer "transparency" upon the institutions that adopt it: by engaging with ordinary folks through the two-way channel of social media, the government, business, schools, non-profits and so on supposedly make themselves accountable to citizens who can now ask questions and demand information.
Major depressive disorder affects roughly one out of six people (16.2% of the population) at some point in their lifetime, but it can still be difficult to study because many sufferers don't seek treatment. However the rise of social media gives researchers another channel for gathering data on depression, as people share more and more information about their emotional states online.
Social media advertising is already a good-sized business in revenue terms, but it is about to get even bigger, according to a new forecast from ZenithOptimedia, with a considerable amount of this growth coming from the rise of social mobile advertising.
One of the more disturbing aspects of the rise of social media is the potential for people who don't know better (hi, teenagers!) to post incriminating or otherwise unflattering content about themselves online, where it will live forever and come back to haunt them when a potential employer asks, for example, if they're still pulling keg stands every weekend.
Location-sharing applications on social media were one of those nifty ideas that seemed to never quite take off: after four years Foursquare has around 40 million users worldwide, making it a pipsqueak in the world of social media (for comparison Facebook had over 100 million users four years after it was founded, and Twitter had 190 million). But location sharing on social media may finally be coming into its own, according to new data from Pew Research Center -- just not with the check-in model.
While Twitter has exploded over the last few years, one group of potential users -- teenagers, who were key to the success of MySpace and then Facebook -- seemed to remain uninterested. Their indifference was especially mystifying because Twitter, by providing a platform for short-form musings about yourself and your world, seemed a natural fit for a demographic defined by short attention spans and self-involvement (sorry, just being honest here).
If you were going to draw up a list of industries that are at high risk for the kind of spiraling-out-of-control negative social buzz epidemics that makes PR people hyperventilate, banking would probably be pretty high on the list: between the bailouts, the almost negative interest rates, and the nickel-and-diming fees, most people are less than ecstatic about banks, bankers, and everything related to them.
While social media is revolutionizing everything from epidemiology to marketing, for many top corporate executives it's just one more thing to worry about, judging by the results of a survey of 100 senior-level executives from public and private companies by the Financial Executives Research Foundation audit, tax, and advisory firm Grant Thornton LLP.
Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans' social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials. - The New York Times, September 28, 2013
David Eggers and Jonathan Franzen, two of the literary set's anointed cleverboys, are sharing their feelings about social media -- and they are not happy about it, not one bit. Eggers airs his concerns about social media in a new book, "The Circle," which follows an ambitious young woman, Mae Holland, who is starting her new job at a successful technology firm, the Circle.