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MySpace joins Google group too

One day after the big OpenSocial announcement, Google added a little afterthought: MySpace the 640-pound social-networking gorilla, Bebo another huge social-Web player, and the very longstanding SixApart were joining too. As a PCWorld blog put it, "now that changes everything." This isn't so much about Facebook users at your house – users won't be going […]

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Manhunt 2: Heads up, parents

Manhunt 2 was released on Halloween to reports that it's taking videogame violence to a new level (e.g, see these from the Associated Press and a CBS News station). It's now rated "M" for "Mature" for 17+, since its maker, Rockstar Games, modified it a bit last summer. "Made for the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation […]

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Ultimate photo-sharing on phones

Young digital socializers will love this: sending social-network-based photos to friends' phones. CNET's CTIA (mobile phone industry trade show) blog reviews MySpace and Facebook versions. It really sounds like a 2-platform utility that gets one's media moving from phone to Web and vice versa. In this and its WebWare blog, CNET looks at this – […]

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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 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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