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UK’s top social sites

With Britons so keen on social networking (recent Ofcom research found 1 in 4 logged into a social site at least 23 times a month!), the UK's Computing Which? consumer magazine recently took the subject on. It tested the "10 most popular sites [in Britain] for ease of setting up and using the site, the […]

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‘Semi-permeable classrooms’

Educator and blogger David Jakes uses a term from his day as a biology teacher to describe how a classroom can safely be turned into a "learning community" that's neither closed nor completely open to the outside world. "I’m interested in building skills in students that will make them successful when they ultimately join wide-open […]

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Oz to filter Web content

The Australian government is about to implement a nationwide Internet filtering program. New laws go into affect January 20 "imposing tougher rules for companies that sell entertainment-related content on subscription internet sites and mobile phones," the Herald Sun reports. The Australian Communications and Media Authority says adults won't be affected by the restrictions, which will […]

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Socializing online, on phones in Japan

It's huge in Japan, where Mixi.jp is the No. 1 social-networking site and the No. 2 site in general (after Yahoo), Forbes reports. But even Mixi's computer-based social networking is facing growing competition not so much from other Web social sites as from mobile-based social networking. "This year, for the first time, the number of […]

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Online ‘friending': Nothing that new

A commentator who used to be a "pre-Facebook teen" makes an excellent point about today's social networking: Things haven't changed much since pre-social-Web days. "Categorizing and ranking friends existed long before these social-networking sites came around," writes L.A.-based writer and editor Sara Libby in the Christian Science Monitor. "Adults baffled by the proliferation of MySpace […]

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Teen-distributed child porn

This is a nightmare I wish we could help all children avoid: Last fall in the state of Georgia, 15 high school students aged 15-17 were identified as victims in what is basically a child-pornography distribution case. The distributors were their classmates, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) reported this week. In […]

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Tech first aid for ’08 & onward

Filtering, monitoring, and other parental-control technology can be useful items in the family Internet first-aid kit, depending on kids' ages and maturity levels. But the most effective, always-age-appropriate tools these days are information and communication – as kids' knowledge of workarounds and malicious hackers' use of social engineering grow. Ideally, parents and kids are working […]

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Social networkers = spin doctors?

Let's hope a growing number of young social networkers understand that, on the social Web, personal communications is pretty much public relations. In "Net users are becoming their own reputation managers," a CNET commentator provides a good reminder. What our parents shared in private diaries, letters and phone conversations and we shared in all the […]

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The social Web & 2007-’08

This past year was "when the Internet's potential as a transformative force expanded. This was the year we understood that the Internet is more than just another medium. It is an emerging society," reported the Times of India in an editorial, "The Year of Facebook." I agree that 2007 was the year we all saw […]

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2008: Whose info is whose?

One of the things we'll all need to sort out on the social Web is what content belongs to who. Is your profile your content or that of the service hosting it? Are your friends' comments in your profile your content, theirs, or the host's? Sound complicated? It is. But it needs to be worked […]

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