An Autopsy of a Dead Social Network: analyzing the collapse of Friendster. (Summary; full paper available at arXiv.)
It seems that there is increasing frustration with the current state of email leading some to look for more technical solutions, such as Shortmail - an email client/social networking tool which attempts to redefine what its creators see as a broken relationship with email described on their blog as a "river of trash." , while others to turn to less technological solutions to lessen their email burden. [more inside]
Love in the Age of Self Consciouness: Rob Horning argues authentic, risk-taking romantic love has been replaced, in the age of social networking, by peacocking aspiring to sprezzatura. "Modern identity, then, is born of the alienation of auto-surveillance, which makes the self seem a discrete thing we manipulate from behind the curtain of publicity." [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.
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.
UK adoption agencies are reporting "huge numbers of calls from 'deeply distressed' adoptive parents whose children have been contacted" through Facebook and other social networking sites, in violation of the traditional, confidential reunion process between birth parents and their offspring who have been placed with other families. Full report from Channel 4. [more inside]
It's a popularity contest. Aimfight is essentially Google pagerank for your buddy list. Compare yourself against your opponents and see who's on more people's buddy lists. Via slashdot.
I couldn't find Kevin Bacon anywhere on this list. I guess this guy prescribes to the "idle hands are the devil's workshop" world view. This bloke has apparently gone to great pains to list everyone he has ever known on his website. What a massive undertaking, as well as a complete waste of time.