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Is Creating a Facebook Study Group Cheating?

An 18 year old freshman at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, could be expelled his first year of college because of a Facebook group he was the administrator of. Facebook started as a way for college students to network online and Chris Avenir used is as a virtual study group for his chemistry class. Now he faces charges of academic misconduct and could be kicked out of the university.

There were 146 members of the group according to stories I read, but after searching, I couldn’t find Avenir or the group on Facebook. The group was called Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions. The class it was created for ended in December.

Digg Getting Out While the Getting is Still Good?

UPDATE: As we said, TechCrunch is hit and miss with these types of rumors. Digg is denying them.

I know that most of the grumbling about Digg comes from marketers–who, for the most part, are annoyed because we can no longer expect traffic from the social voting site. But, surely there are enough other Digg users who feel that Digg is not quite the voting democracy they thought they were signing up for, and are abandoning the service.

And, maybe Digg knows that the clock is ticking, if it wants to sell out while it still has users and traffic to sell. That’s my take on why Digg is reportedly anxious to accept a bid lower than the $300 million valuation given by its investment bank Allen & Co.

Zuckerberg Not Done Building Facebook Management Team

BusinessWeek has scored an interview with Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. The questions focus mostly on the company’s recent recruitment coup: hiring Sheryl Sandberg away from Google.

How did Zuckerberg do it?

I met her at a friend’s Christmas party before the beginning of 2008…Then we started talking a lot at Davos at the end of January. We had a lot of time to talk there. There are a lot of people who are talented at scaling operations and building companies. But her experience at Google gives her just about the most-relevant industry experience that anyone could have. Even though our product is very different [than Google's], there are components that are similar. One is scaling sales operations.

What will Sandberg do at Facebook?

Facebook Working on MySpace Music Clone?

music on facebook logoRumors have been circulating about Facebook working on a music platform similar to MySpace’s for months. Today they’re being revived with news that Facebook’s “music division” has been in talks with record labels.

Apparently launched last month, the Music on Facebook page is suddenly drawing a lot more attention. The page appears to be a “meta page” for all Facebook Pages devoted to bands and music. In the sidebar BTF, they list their featured launch partners: more than 80 musicians and bands ranging from Wyclef to Keith Urban to Coldplay (all of which have their own Facebook Pages, of course).

But for Facebook to launch a real social media/music “revolution,” a lot more will have to happen. Predictions from CNET and paidContent include:

Technorati Planning Ad Network for Bloggers

TechCrunch reported on Friday that blogging social site Technorati is planning an ad network for bloggers.

The news isn’t based on an official announcement, but on insider information—you know, “sources.” TechCrunch doesn’t have much in the way of details in these early stages, but they do say:

Technorati will certainly be competing head to head with FM, although sources say they’ll focus on the long tail of the market as well (FM only takes larger sites). The network will be a self-serve exchange for bloggers (and other publishers) as well as advertisers. Ad units will include both display and text ads, and will allow units to be charged on both a CPM and CPC basis. This self-service model looks a lot more like Adbrite than Glam or FM.

Facebook Falling Off?

Is the honeymoon over for media darling Facebook? Well, yes and no. Hitwise today shows that Facebook’s market share is down, while their average time on site continues in its upward trend. However, Youth Trends‘ February report puts Facebook at the top of students’ list for the seventh straight quarter with 60% of males and 74% of females ranking it as their favorite site.

Hitwise’s Heather Dougherty (not to be confused with her UK coworker, Heather Hopkins) takes a look at Facebook’s popularity in the US, and the results are mixed:

One interesting point to note is that during recent peaks in traffic, the average visit time decreases, evidence that these spikes are being driven by less active users of Facebook.

Yahoo Tries to Get Some Buzz

It’s a day of new releases for Yahoo! As part of Search Marketing Expo West (SMX) in Santa Clara, CA they’ve announced some new initiatives to try to build some buzz for the company.

No doubt it’s been a rough go at Yahoo lately and good news is needed. Other stories coming from Yahoo seem more buzz-worthy, but here’s a preview of one new development from Yahoo.

Yahoo Buzz
Yahoo Buzz is the Yahoo version of Digg and other social voting sites. Not a lot new here except they’ll aggregate stories from 100 publishers. You can promote the buzzed stories to Digg and other sites like Facebook, Reddit and Stumbleupon. Oh, and it has a page rank of 6.