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#Social Networking

From The Social Bubble? Facebook loses users in US, Canada and UK Facebook

The Social Bubble? Facebook loses users in US, Canada and UK

New statistics show that Facebook lost almost eight million users in the United States, Canada and UK in May 2011.

How your online life looks... in real life Social Networking This post contains videos

How your online life looks... in real life

Can I be your friend?

From Coming down the social hub? VFI plans to take pubs into the future Eh?

Coming down the social hub? VFI plans to take pubs into the future

Publicans nationwide need to turn their bars into “event driven social locations”, as well as embracing Facebook and Twitter, according to Vintners Federation Ireland.

From Malaysian man apologises via 100 tweets in defamation settlement Sorry

Malaysian man apologises via 100 tweets in defamation settlement

Fahmi Fadzil reached a settlement with a publishing company after it was claimed he had defamed the company on Twitter. His punishment? 100 tweets.

From Former Google head: We 'screwed up' by not taking Facebook seriously Google

Former Google head: We 'screwed up' by not taking Facebook seriously

Ex-CEO Eric Schmidt admits the search giant underestimated the power of social networking – and was rejected when it tried to partner with Facebook.

From Tesco, Ryanair and UPC come bottom of the social networking table Social Media

Tesco, Ryanair and UPC come bottom of the social networking table

A new study has found that some big brands have no social media features on their eCommerce sites at all, while others, like HMV, Amazon and Irish site Elverys are making the most of the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

From Aid worker murdered in England after row with boyfriend over Facebook video Murder

Aid worker murdered in England after row with boyfriend over Facebook video

Angela Hoyt, a Red Cross worker who had just returned from a mission in Pakistan, reported her ex for harrassment after her hacked her Facebook account and posted an anti-Israeli video.

From Toyota to set up social networking service Toyota

Toyota to set up social networking service

Toyota is setting up a social networking service with the help of a US Internet company and Microsoft so drivers can interact with their cars in ways similar to Twitter and Facebook.

From "Monstrous interest" in LinkedIn shares on first day of trading LinkedIn

"Monstrous interest" in LinkedIn shares on first day of trading

The 95 per cent surge on the first day’s trading is seen as a good sign for other social networking companies.

From How Facebook is shaping what news you read online Facebook

How Facebook is shaping what news you read online

A study in the US has found that the social networking giant is increasingly determining what news people are reading online but not as much as Google.

New site promises to get you a girlfriend – by creating a fake one on Facebook

‘Cloud Girlfriend’ will create a profile tailored to your tastes, and then have it interact with you from afar on your Facebook.

Egyptian man names daughter 'Facebook'

A man has called his baby girl ‘Facebook’ to honour the social networking site that was used to spread word about the country’s revolutionary demonstrations.

From Zuckerberg secures restraining order against stalker Facebook Pest

Zuckerberg secures restraining order against stalker

Man who tried to contact Facebook founder and his sister via his own social networking site has been banned from coming within 300 yards of them.

From 2010 in Photos: October 2010 In Photos This post contains images

2010 in Photos: October

In October, an accident at an alumina plant in Hungary killed nine people and released about a million cubic metres of toxic sludge; 33 miners trapped under the ground in Chile were successfully rescued; and Bill Clinton visited Ireland.

From Facebook to hire 100 new staff for Dublin HQ Jobswatch

Facebook to hire 100 new staff for Dublin HQ

The world’s biggest social network will increase its current Dublin workforce by 50% in the coming year.

From Open source alternative to Facebook releases source code Diaspora

Open source alternative to Facebook releases source code

‘Diaspora’, a social network which aims to transparently guard users’ privacy in a way Facebook doesn’t, unveils itself.

PRIVATE INVESTORS have been selling shares in Facebook for $76 each, according to reports today – which would value the company at an astonishing €26.6bn, before the company even considers floating itself on a stock exchange.

The Financial Times today reports that shares in the company, being traded privately because the social networking site has not been floated, were fetching remarkable per-share prices on so-called ‘secondary markets’.

There is a slight premium to such shares, however, because of the fact that private limited companies are limited by law to having a maximum of 500 shareholders.

Even still, if the company was to be floated with shares valued at $76 (€59.88), the company would instantly be worth a remarkable $33.7bn – or about €26.6bn.

By comparison, Yahoo! is worth about $18bn on today’s values, while Microsoft and Google – businesses with far more wide-reaching and diverse – are worth $208bn and $143bn each. Apple is worth $219bn.

Google, when floated, had a value of $1.67bn.

Facebook’s $33.7bn valuation would make its founder Mark Zuckerberg (26) between $6.7bn and $10.11bn, depending on how much of the business he retains ownership of, with varying reports saying he owns 20% to 30% of Facebook.

Facebook said two weeks ago it was likely to postpone its Initial Public Offering – entering a public stock exchange – until early 2012. Some of its senior employees are remunerated in shares, however, and are welcome to sell them on private secondary markets.

What’s the first thing you did this morning?

Maybe you made a cup of coffee. Maybe you slumped down at the kitchen table munching a spoonful of cornflakes, grumpily contemplating the cereal box.

When did you first check your phone, log on to your email, peek at your Facebook page, or intercept the day’s first tweet ?

Digital media has infiltrated our lives, and most of us wouldn’t have it any other way. Today it’s a common morning routine to power up the laptop or check emails on your smartphone while slipping bread into the toaster. Memories of checking emails in the office or – god save us – a time before broadband existed have come to seem almost quaint.

But as useful as it is to be in touch with everything and everyone, when does it become too much?

The answer is frequently.

Anyone whose computer routinely has some, or all – or more besides – of the following displayed in front of them on a daily basis will sympathise with digital burnout: Word document, (personal) email, (work) email, (other) email, Twitter, Facebook, news site, other news site, blog, other blog,  some interesting-looking website you just found, Google doc, Calendar, YouTube… and that’s all a work-related document is even opened.

How can anyone be expected to concentrate with so many things vying for attention? And it’s not just when you’re online either, Greg Head (video below) says that texting while driving has the equivalent level of impairment as drinking four beers.

So the question is how do you bypass the distractions while still staying clued in, particularly if you need to keep up to date with what’s going on? That was precisely the problem of one blogger, Ben Brooks.

But Brooks came up with a very simple and very effective way of dealing with the issue. He wiped all of his distracting social networking and email accounts off his computer and moved them to his iPad; meaning he could work uninterrupted but could check in on the world during his breaks.

Of course, you don’t need to have an iPad to do the same thing, if you have a tablet computer, secondary laptop or netbook they could be similarly used.

So, now it’s just you and a blank screen.

Since that might be a little scary, the next important question is when can you take a break?

Well, watch the video below to learn about the Pomodoro Technique. It’s simple, requires minimal organisation and – most importantly – it trains your brain to engage in deep thinking.

For all the benefits that multi-tasking brings, deep thinking is a crucial skill that has become somewhat lost in our high-speed digital world, which is probably one of the only valid criticisms that can be levelled at the information age.

GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED it will be dropping its once-much-heralded Google Wave communications tool due to poor public take-up.

The high-profile product – opened on an invite-only basis in September 2009, and made fully available to the public in May – failed to live up to its hype and Google says it now has no plans “to continue developing Wave as a standalone product”.

The announcement is not much of a surprise, however, with users failing to find practical application for the tool – perhaps because it seemed to require users to watch an 80-minute showcasing video to explain how it was used.

Social media blog Mashable had reported that upon its launch, Wave was being heralded as a potential successor to email, such was its potential, though it now notes that the most remarkable thing about the product is its remarkable rise and fall from grace.

Wave marks the latest in a long line of Google’s failures to try and exert its influence in the social sphere; its most succesful venture was the launch of Orkut in 2004 which has its largest userbase in Latin America.

Its most recent venture, Google Buzz, drew the wrath of many privacy campaigners after Gmail users were automatically opted-in to the service which shared some of their personal activity with email correspondents without their knowledge.

Here’s a video of Google CEO Eric Schmidt talking about the demise of Wave:

It has been suggested that some of the more popular features (if Google can identify any) of Buzz and Wave will be rolled into another social project from the company, known as ‘Google Me‘.

BEBO FOUNDER, Michael Birch, is set to launch his next venture in Ireland. Birch is launching, a new political website, in the next few days. An email received by says the site is launching its “stealth mode in Ireland in the next 48 hours.”

“The start up is based in Silicon Valley, but Michael is going to try something a little unorthodox and grow it out from Ireland and not from Silicon Valley first. If successful this could set a new trend where we get to see the new stuff first,” the email reads.

Birch has previously said that the site will be issues-based and not party-based. He said he chose Ireland as a testing ground because of the success of Bebo in the country.

Birch sold Bebo for $10m to a group of investors who made over $1bn selling it to AOL. The company has since been sold on.

Those who wish to join the site can put their name on a waiting list.

GOOGLE MAY be planning the launch of a social networking site to rival Facebook, and is reportedly in talks with online games developers in the hope of extending its social networking scope.

This follows the company’s failed attempt to launch a new global social networking site last year, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal. Google’s last attempt to create  social networking site, Orkut, proved to be very popular in Brazil but not elsewhere.

Alexa, a company that browses traffic behaviour online, ranked Orkut as 65th in the world in the social network category.

Google is speaking with Playdom Inc, Electronic Arts Inc’s Playfish and Zynga Game Network Inc but it is not confirmed whether Google plans to launch a social networking site that includes a social-games capacity.

Social games, like Farmville, have become extremely popular with internet users – and games developers have to rely quite heavily on Facebook to for access to customers.

Facebook poses a unique problem for Google: many of its members – the figure for which currently stands at 500m – use the site to access  information. However the privacy settings on the site mean that Google cannot access a lot of that communication, which is a threat to its business model.

Details about the possible plans have not yet been released but, according to reports, insiders have said the social games would be part of larger social-networking initiative.

Another rumour is that the company will launch a social gaming site called Google Games.

SOCIAL NETWORKING-savvy burglars can  strike gold on websites like Facebook and Twitter when users display their travel and work plans.

Out of thoughtlessness or a false sense of security (you are among “friends” after all) many people post their plans online. As innocent as it may seem, its not always safe.

The UK-based insurance company More Than conducted a survey, asking 50 former criminals how they chose their targets. Monitoring victims on social networking sites and examining their updates and posts was common.

Some even monitor mobile Twitter users, to see where they are at any given moment.

With many users placing personal details, like their address or telephone number, on social networking sites all that a would-be burglar needs to do is log on to see when you’re safely out of the way.

Pete Markey, a spokesman for More Than, said that today’s burglars are combining old techniques with new.

He added, “Using Facebook or Twitter to boast about a big night out or a fortnight in Barbados may impress friends and colleagues, but it’s enough to give the social-media savvy burglar all they need to know.”

According to the results of the survey, 68% of burglars said they collected information about their target’s home or daily routine in advance of a robbery.

THE LATEST MINI Cooper model comes with one particularly unique feature – Twitter access. The car comes with a screen in the centre of the dashboard which can display the satnav as well as social networking sites.

Apparently iPhone users can also use the screen to listen to web radio and check out Google news.  The car is a four-wheel drive with five doors, the first time either feature has appeared on a Mini model.

Here’s the (really weird) ad for the car:

FACEBOOK HAS NOW reached 500 million users, according to TechCrunch. The site celebrated its sixth birthday just five months ago by announcing it had hit the 400 million-mark. To celebrate breaking its own record so quickly, the site has launched a new project called “Facebook Stories“.

Facebook wants its users to contribute stories, of at most 420 characters, which it will then sort according to location and theme.

The site’s latest user figures come just in time for the promotion of the Facebook film, “The Social Network”, which will be released in autumn:

The news might also cheer up the website’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who is currently facing a lawsuit from Paul Cegila, who claims he owns 84% of the site. The New York investor claims he owns the stake because of a contract he signed with Mr Zuckerburg in 2003 to develop a new website which later became Facebook.

PAUL CEGILA is claiming he owns 84% of Facebook, the social network founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

Cegila says he signed a contract with Zuckerberg for $1,000, and a 50% stake in the firm, in addition to “an additional 1% interest in the business for every day after Jan. 1 2004 until it was completed”. The contract was for web design and developing work.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the contract is for “the purchase and design of a suitable website for the project Seller [Mr. Zuckerberg] has already initiated that is designed to offer the students of Harvard university [sic] access to a wesite [sic] similar to a live functioning yearbook with the working title of ‘The Face Book.”"

The Journal also points out that Cegila’s claim, said to be worth $12bn – $22bn predates the formation of Facebook, and may relate to Zuckerberg’s previous project – Facemash.

A spokesperson for Facebook called the lawsuit ‘frivolous’.