An Autopsy of a Dead Social Network: analyzing the collapse of Friendster. (Summary; full paper available at arXiv.)
Illinois (joining Maryland) bans employers from requesting applicant or employee social networking passwords. [more inside]
The social graph is neither. Maciej Cegłowski, owner/founder/operator/sole employee of Pinboard (recently), blogger of idle words, lays down some science and thoughts about the charting of your personal connections, and why it's doomed.
Last Friday, USA Today reported that two people from PR firm Burson-Marsteller had been contacting various news outlets and bloggers, pushing a story about how Google's "Social Circle" gmail feature violates users' privacy. The pitch was made on behalf of an unnamed client that The Daily Beast now confirms was Facebook. [more inside]
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." In the wake of bin Laden's killing, partially fabricated misquotations were circulated widely via Twitter and Facebook. [more inside]
"Unlike the link ... likes are arguably easier to create. Moreover, they are explicit endorsements rather than implicit ones. Therefore, they carry more weight once they are pulled through the lens of our friends. More so than links, this new network of signals allows content to find you, rather than you having to go find it. The rise of likes, just as links before it, will create all kinds of new businesses. And we're just getting started." Are likes poised to replace links as the Web's primary signal? Then again, it just might be getting out of hand.
By helping other people look happy, Facebook is making us sad. The human habit of overestimating other people's happiness is nothing new, of course. Jordan points to a quote by Montesquieu: "If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are." But social networking may be making this tendency worse. Jordan's research doesn't look at Facebook explicitly, but if his conclusions are correct, it follows that the site would have a special power to make us sadder and lonelier. By showcasing the most witty, joyful, bullet-pointed versions of people's lives, and inviting constant comparisons in which we tend to see ourselves as the losers, Facebook appears to exploit an Achilles' heel of human nature. And women—an especially unhappy bunch of late—may be especially vulnerable to keeping up with what they imagine is the happiness of the Joneses.
The Wall Street Journal's What They Know blog is charged with determining what information marketers are capable of learning about internet users through tracking technology. This weekend, they took aim at Facebook, after their investigation discovered that many popular apps on the social-networking site, including those by Zynga, have been transmitting identifying information in the form of User ID's to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, even if a user has enabled strict privacy settings. Additional analysis. Response post on Facebook's Developer Blog. Forbes' blogger Kashmir Hill asks if the WSJ is overreacting, and Techcrunch notes that the severity and risks of UID transferral are still being debated.
Kate Bolick tells a story of Facebook voyeurism.
Web 2.0 Suicide Machine This machine lets you delete all your energy sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web2.0 alterego.
Nonja, like many 33 year old Austrians, has been taking dozens of photos of herself, her friends, and her surroundings and posting them to facebook. She's got 41,000+ friends. What makes her special? She's an orangutan. [more inside]
Asymmetrical friendship: Tired of the relentless positivity of social-networking sites, where, as on Facebook, all you can be is a “friend” of someone? Greg Smith responds to a journal article that addressed the topic, among others; Smith calls for “asymmetrical friendship – this is cynicism put to good use.” Because there are times when somebody “friends” you on Facebook when what you think of them is more along the lines of “enemy combatant.” [more inside]
The top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets. Twitter is dominated by men, whereas other social networks tend to be dominated by women. Is Twitter biased towards men?
Dr. Aric Sigman has told us that TV is literally killing us, that it makes children pregnant, that Batman makes our kids violent and that multitasking ruins children's attention span. Now he says that social networking can cause cancer, strokes, and dementia. (PDF of press release)
Privacy and Social Networking: If I Poke you, it indicates that I’m online, and I’m thinking about you.
Facebook and the Social Dynamics of Privacy (coming soon to the Iowa Law Review), by James Grimmelmann (law professor, programmer, MeFi's own grimmelm, and Level 1 Ensign Zombie): just in time for Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect, Grimmelmann suggests we rethink what privacy means both in legal terms and how that impacts social networks and their users. (Previously) [more inside]
02138 Magazine is "Poking Facebook" with court documents and Zuckerberg's potentially embarrassing online journal (pdf). Facebook responds.
Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism. Examining the social rules and norms, as well as the pitfalls, of electronic "friending" (yes, it's a verb now - or is it a gerund?). Via.
10 Steps to a More Dateable Facebook Profile 6. Un-tag photos at will. Bad angle? Bad outfit? Bad situation? Un-tag that picture! It's not worth adding a few numbers to that photo count to be seen in a photo that doesn't cast you in an entirely positive light. Did you see what happened to Miss New Jersey?
Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace: "Hegemonic American teens (i.e. middle/upper class, college bound teens from upwards mobile or well off families) are all on or switching to Facebook. Marginalized teens, teens from poorer or less educated backgrounds, subculturally-identified teens, and other non-hegemonic teens continue to be drawn to MySpace. A class division has emerged and it is playing out in the aesthetics, the kinds of advertising, and the policy decisions being made." (Related blog post)
Facebook to open their API. Online networking site Facebook is adding third-party app support to their API. Adding a new app (which can include ads) broadcasts it to your contacts. Innovation, or recipe for disaster? But can MySpace even be beaten? And if Facebook can poach MySpace's users, do they really want them? For that matter, is MySpace even the juggernaut some claim? Anyone have any ideas for new Facebook app mashups?
Facebook informericial parody This is a pretty hilarious video of Facebook users. Very well done.