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Google Gadgets Go Down Under

google-logoGoogle has given the good folks who use their Australian engine some social networking features that come with a gaggle of Google gadgets. Looks like the only way to get the social networking aspects of the gadgets is to be putting your shrimp on the barbie. Smart Company tells us

The new gadgets include the “Updates” feed, which is similar to those seen on the Facebook home page. Other gadgets include, Biggest Brain, YouTube, Photos, Chess, Flood-It!, NY Times Crossword, To Do, Go Comics, Trivia, Timeline, and Tile Game.

Users outside of Australia can use the gadgets, but only Australians can use their social features. Regan also said in his post that the social features are completely optional.

Breaking: Facebook Acquires FriendFeed

This is one of those posts that we’d rather bring to you quickly and fill in the blanks later–Facebook has just announced that it has agreed to acquire social network aggregator FriendFeed.

Facebook today announced that it has agreed to acquire FriendFeed, the innovative service for sharing online. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.

The full release is here.

It’s interesting that Facebook has intentions to become an aggregator of the social web. It’s already testing the integration of Twitter feeds, and this acquisition confirms its intentions. The big question for me is how will FriendFeed’s loyal users react? Many of them–Robert Scoble included–flocked to FriendFeed’s apparent bipartisan approach to social networking. Will that disappear now that it’s part of Facebook?

British Troops Encouraged to Tweet (To a Degree)

twitter-logo1Since we had a rather strong response to our coverage of the United States Marine Corps’ policy to not allow Marines to access social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter on the Marines’ network it seemed appropriate to see how this is handled ‘across the pond’.

Now before going into this and making comparisons between the two reports I think it only fair to share a comment from one of our readers to the report regarding the USMC policy. Commenter Jason said

This ban has slowly been implemented across all Department of Defense systems. This is not just a Marine ban. This is strictly for government systems and in no way affects the systems used for morale. They are not saying the Marines cannot access Facebook or MySpace or Twitter on their time. They are saying that Marines cannot access these Social Networking sites while at work.

Twitter Outage Part of Widespread Social Media DoS Attack

Twitter iconMaybe you heard the sound of the world crashing down and people actually being productive at work yesterday while Twitter was unreachable. It wasn’t long before the full explanation came out—the popular microblogging site was the victim of a DoS attack.

But Twitter wasn’t the only site targeted. As CNET reports, Facebook, LiveJournal and Blogger were all subject to a distributed denial-of-service attack yesterday, apparently to silence “Cyxymu,” one blogger from Georgia (the country not the state). Twitter was the most noticeably affected, though Cyxymu’s LiveJournal page was unaccessible.

The Chief Security Officer at Facebook, Chris Kelly, confirmed the attack to CNET:

Do Teens Tweet?

Yeah, yeah, yeah—I’m sure we can all name some anecdotal evidence of teens who either hate Twitter or who can’t get off it. But by and large, according to a new Nielsen report, teens just aren’t on Twitter.

Or are they? The chart from the report looks at users on (as opposed to on phones or desktop clients):


Let’s start with the facts: In June of this year, teens and young adults made up 25% of the online population, which means that they’re disproportionately not using Twitter. Or I can accept that.

More Social Media Restrictions Reported

Social Media BanYesterday we told you about the social media restrictions that the United States Marine Corps has placed on its network. Many of you, including myself, hated to see this happen but considering what could potentially take place (security concerns etc.) it has its merits. Well, one would suspect that the rest of the corporate world isn’t looking to the Marines for direction on how manage employee social media usage but many are taking similar approaches.

cnet reports that ESPN is putting the social media lid on its employees.

For ESPN, the social-networking revolution will not be televised–or tweeted, blogged, or Facebooked. Not for now, at least, and not without ESPN’s approval.

Twitter Keeps Growing

While a lot of the talk around Twitter is hype and hyperbole and anything else that is based in theory there are some real numbers that Twitter can point to that are hard to ignore. In June, according to comScore as reported by TechCrunch Twitter had 44.5 million visitors to the site. This is a pretty large number on its own, placing it ahead of ESPN and just shy of Craig’s List as well as the BBC’s site. In a pure ranking sense the site now sits at the 52nd largest site in the world. The graph below represents the kind of ‘hockey stick’ growth that most just dream will happen.

twitter-june-2009-chart 2