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Google & friends’ face-off with Facebook

Remember when Facebook announced last spring that it plans to be the social-networking "platform" (see this )? Well, Google has created a social-networking alliance designed to give Facebook's plan a little competition. Google's Orkut plus LinkedIn, Hi5, Friendster, Plaxo, and Ning the host to individuals' own social-networking sites are "introducing a common set of standards […]

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New mobile ‘social networks’

This is "the year of social networks" for cellphones, CNET reported in its coverage of last week's mobile-phone-industry trade show. So it reviews five "shiny, new" examples: Bluepulse, a social service really just for phones (looks bad on a desktop); UK-based Trutap, which is "more a mobile facilitator than pure mobile social network"; Utterz, which […]

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How YouTube stardom works

Of course "stardom" on the social Web is different from mass-media stardom. Take bands in MySpace, for example – fame is more dispersed but intimate. Artists are closer to their fans, who do the real marketing (in a "viral," word-of-mouth way that has a lot more influence than the polished but less personal marketing of […]

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Parents on kids’ Net use: Study

We're a little more ambivalent about our children's Net use than we used to be – but that doesn't mean more of us think the Internet is bad for them, according to a just-released study on this by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. "While a majority of [US] parents with online teens [12-17] […]

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Parental concerns are important

eMarketer points out how important parents' views of social networking are to this social-Web business. It cites the research of Parks Associates as showing that "virtual world advertising in the United States will increase tenfold to $150 million by 2012 from the 2006 level. That spending could be cut, however, if parents deny permission for […]

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Social networkers’ age verification

It just wouldn't work, according to experts and mounting evidence. Here's why.

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Social networker age verification revisited

Parents often ask us why on Earth social-networking sites can't just block teens altogether – verify their ages or something? After all, it's all over the US news media that attorneys general are calling for age verification. Well, we have been replying for months that it just wouldn't work (e.g., see "Verifying kids' ages: Key […]

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US sites, foreign social networking

When the user-driven social Web meets the fairly evolved consumer-privacy and free-speech laws of the US (where many social-networking sites are based) meets the laws and sensibilities of the country where the US company's customers are, things get complicated. And very messy, sometimes. Take Brazil, for example. There, Google's social-networking site Orkut.com "has become a […]

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Microsoft’s moves in social space

More obvious this week were Microsoft's plans for the social Web both mobile and fixed. CEO Steve Ballmer said in a keynote at the mobile phone industry's (CTIA's) big fall 2007 trade show in San Francisco that the mobile phone is becoming "the universal remote control for your life" (see this CNET blog post). That's […]

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Social-networking sights on Asia

There's a "colossal scrum among the world's biggest social networks for the hearts and mouse clicks of millions of people in India, China, and elsewhere in Asia," Business Week reports. It adds that MySpace and Facebook are scrambling to replace "established homegrown networks and foreign sites, especially Orkut and Friendster" (Orkut has a well-established beachhead […]

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