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Oral history online

You know how most communication, story-telling, and history used to be oral? Well, with social networking, humanity may be coming full circle. "Academic researchers are starting to [explore] the parallels between online social networks and tribal societies," the New York Times reports. "In the collective patter of profile-surfing, messaging and 'friending,' they see the resurgence […]

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The social Web Petri dish

Social-networking sites are important Petri dishes. By studying the social Web, researchers are learning a lot about how people interact – not just about how they do so now and online but about human interaction in general. In fact, research in social-networking sites "may be more accurate than personal information offered elsewhere online, such as […]

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Politician’s profile deleted

It was Liberal Democrat Steve Webb, a British member of Parliament, whose Facebook page was deleted after someone sent in an abuse report calling it an imposter profile. Soon there was a Facebook group called "Steve Webb is Real!", CNET reports. His profile was shortly reinstated, to the satisfaction of his 2,500 Facebook friends and […]

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New features afoot at MySpace

MySpace plans to be people's dashboard for navigating cyberspace, USATODAY reports – the place "where they can check in on the activities of friends, peruse email, get the latest on news and weather, and post their favorite photos and videos." To deal with the growing threat Facebook represents to MySpace, USATODAY says, the latter is […]

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Controversial ‘Cool Girl’ game in Oz

Is it a way for "cool girl" wannabes to vent their frustrations, does it teach them to bully, or does it simply entertain? Those are the questions reportedly surrounding a new mobile-phone game in Australia that's drawing international attention. Called "Coolest Girl in School," the game – quite an anomaly because designed specifically for girls […]

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Australia’s very connected families

Ninety percent of Australian families with children are online, up from 7% in 2005, reports Australian IT, citing new findings from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Three-quarters (76%) of those online families have broadband connections. The study also found that "most Australian families with children older than eight now have three televisions, three mobile […]

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Oz union’s Facebook profile

The Australian Workers Union is marketing itself to youth by establishing a presence in Facebook, Australian IT reports. Though union leaders say its profile will get more sophisticated, for now "users can add the ‘Proud AWU Supporter’ application to their profile pages to obtain the organisation's latest news feeds." Version 2.0 will let users "interact […]

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Musicians’ view of teen social networking

Come enter, here's my world Closed off from pain and cold Come enter, come inside A secret place of light 'Cause in this world I'm rid of you, You can't get through Those are lyrics from a song entitled "Digital Deceit" by Netherlands-based band After Forever. A rare artistic depiction of teen social networking, it's […]

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‘Teens rule the Web’

That was just one (the Washington Post's) of an interesting range of headlines about the latest Pew Internet & American Life study about US 12-to-17-year-olds online. The Post's reporter blogged about how "teens continue to lead the pack in creating content on the Web." The San Jose Mercury News reported that "More teens move their […]

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Kid videogame picks & pans

Just a quick heads-up for any last-minute shopping: CNET has a "18 top game picks: The DOs and DON'Ts of games for kids." The guide includes screen shots so you can see what the games look like, and it offers "nine games you can count on for your child, and nine you should shy away […]

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