social networks

A Cartoonish Way to Prevent Cruelty

A Cartoonish Way to Prevent Cruelty

In graduate school, I mostly studied –isms. Feminism. Marxism. Racism. I got a Master's degree in Cultural Theory, which is sort of an intersection between philosophy and deep analysis of English literature. Mostly, I read philosophers who talked about literature and wanted to change the world. When I started my course of study, I thought I would get a PhD. I thought I would become a professor. But over the course of two years of graduate study, I realized that all we were doing was reading and talking. The authors we read were writing mostly in terms so abstract that you could hardly divine what they were talking about, let alone what they wanted to accomplish. It seemed a terrible way to change the world, talking but not doing anything. So, I left.

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Twitter Power and the Hobby Lobby

Twitter Power and the Hobby Lobby

Yesterday an old friend posted on Facebook: "XXX dislikes craft stores (and all stores for that matter) that say, "no nothing Hannukah in here - we are a Christian store. We only celebrate Christmas." Nice." How old is this friend? I used to babysit her and her brother when they were kids. She still lives in our hometown, Columbia, Md. Columbia is a fantastic place to grow up. It is often rated one of the best cities in which one could live, along with neighboring Ellicott City. Columbia is a planned city, and a progressive city. It is zoned to be integrated, in terms of socio-economics, and most schools have a racial and religious mix that is far more diverse than the rest of the country. It is the sort of place I'd like to raise my own children, and the open-minded upbringing I had in Columbia certainly shaped my worldview for the rest of my life.

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Google +1 social network now involving Sergey Brin?

Google +1 social network now involving Sergey Brin?

Google's work-in-progress social networking system, which we last heard was delayed until spring 2011, may end up launching as "Google +1" or "Google Plus One". According to TechCrunch's sources, Sergey Brin has joined VP Vic Gundotra in working on the project, which is believed to consist - at least initially - of a toolbar spread across each of the company's services including some form of Chrome browser integration.

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Google social networking drive delayed until Spring 2011?

Google social networking drive delayed until Spring 2011?

Google's push into social networking, adding social components into its core products to improve search quality with "tailored recommendations", has apparently been delayed, with the launch now not expected to take place until spring 2011. According to Mashable's sources, the project - a super-secret endeavor led by VP Vic Gundotra - is being hamstrung by internal arguments over design, purpose and execution.

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Facebook Skype integration tips “Face me” video chat

Facebook Skype integration tips “Face me” video chat

Facebook could be readying Skype integration, as the next step in their attempt to turn the social network into an all-inclusive messaging and communications system. Green Any Site spotted a new VideoChat object freshly added to Facebook's code [.js link], complete with several properties referring to Skype; they say the new functionality would allow Facebook users to video chat in-site or with other Skype users, or perhaps even link Skype and Facebook IDs.

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Cut, Copy and Hate

Cut, Copy and Hate

Digital culture ran smack into politics this week when celebrity gossip site TMZ published what it claimed (uncontested by those involved) were screen shots of a Facebook conversation had by Willow Palin, the daughter of the controversial political figure Sarah Palin. I remember the days when a politician was stabbed in the back by a gruff, anonymous source who used a fake name and passed dossiers in a dark parking garage. Reporters would work for days to verify the claims just to make sure they were true. Now, all you have to do is press shift-cmd-4, and you can make a perfect copy that you can distribute to the entire world in an instant. It's still easy to fake information, but it's even easier to pass along the raw data.

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Myspace “mashup” opens door to Facebook invasion

Myspace “mashup” opens door to Facebook invasion

Myspace has capitulated to social network market pressures, and announced a partnership that will see integration with some Facebook content. Billed as a "mashup", the deal means that Myspace users can import their likes and interests from Facebook to their Myspace profile using Facebook Connect, shaping the social network's news stream by pairing that information with relevant Myspace pages. For instance, if you're interested in Lady Gaga on Facebook, Myspace might automatically start showing you information from her Myspace page.

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The Social Tide Receding

The Social Tide Receding

There were a few instances that made me realize my social networking habits had gone too far, for too long. One of them went something like this. I would say to my wife something like: "Hey, my friend Gina is pregnant."

"Who's Gina?" My wife would ask.

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Facebook’s “Gmail killer” to have Microsoft Office Web Apps integration?

Facebook’s “Gmail killer” to have Microsoft Office Web Apps integration?

More leaks about Facebook's supposed "Project Titan" rival to Gmail - which has been tipped for a Monday reveal - are emerging, with whispers that Microsoft are actually involved as well. According to ZDNet's source, Facebook will integrate its new webmail service with Office Web Apps, Microsoft's online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote; "the Office team has been working on this for a while now" says the tipster.

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