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Social Networking is Not Always a Popularity Contest

Now that I have just about every popular social network profile under the sun, I wanted to share an observation: Having a social network is not just a popularity contest.

Sure, the younger you are, the more you may want to be liked and show-off your popularity – that’s part of the reason why MySpace has become so popular. Once you get out into the real world (boy do I sound like my parents), you’ll realize that life is not always about “he who has the most friends wins.”

Take a look at where popularity works and where it doesn’t.

Twitter – there’s no harm in letting countless numbers follow your Tweets, but do you really need to follow the micro-updates of people you don’t know?

How to Spam Leverage a Network

Okay, I know that spammers aren’t really going to read this, but legitimate webmasters can promote their blogs on social networks like MyBlogLog, too. But you gotta do it the right way if you don’t want to be labeled a “SchMOe.”

So, when using any social network to try to appeal to someone to visit, read or link to your content, here’s some good ideas:

  • Figure out if you’re in anyway relevant to their site—and especially if you’re a “competitor.” If you occupy the exact same space, your target might still be interested. However, if you occupy a completely different space, really, deeply contemplate whether that SEO blog will link to your carburettor blog.

Judges Reminds ConnectU they Need Actual Evidence to Sue Facebook

There’s at least one sensible judge in Boston and he’s presiding over ConnectU’s claim that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg built the popular social network on stolen intellectual property.

Massachusetts Federal Judge Douglas P. Woodlock repeatedly suggested that ConnectU hadn’t provided enough evidence to support their claim that Zuckerberg had built Facebook on code used by ConnectU.

“Claims must have a factual basis,” the judge said. The allegations, which ranged from breach of confidence to fraud to misappropriation of trade secrets, comprised a “most evanescent of explanations,” Woodlock said. He gave ConnectU’s founders–Divya Narendra and twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss–until August 8 to provide a revised complaint. He also gave Facebook two weeks after that date to respond.

Facebook: High and Mighty

As instigator of the unofficial Facebook rumor blog, I figured I should cover this story (better late than never)! According to TheDeal.com’s David Shabelman, there’s a good reason Facebook isn’t being acquired: they want way more than they’re really worth.

Yes, we knew that. But it’s not just Zuckerberg that’s pushing for the big bucks: the VCs who funded Facebook are holding out for a better offer as well:

‘We’re so far apart with what we think it’s worth and what other people do it doesn’t make sense for us to have conversations,’ [Facebook director and investor Peter] Thiel said. ‘Either they’re underestimating it or we’re overestimating it, but given that disconnect, it would be a complete waste of time for the company to be talking with people.’

Digg Dumps Google in Favor of 3-Year Microsoft Deal

Kevin Rose has announced Digg has decided to drop Google in favor of a 3-year exclusive deal with Microsoft.

Hey everyone ? I wanted to give you a heads-up before the official announcement is made later today. We?ve signed on Microsoft as our new partner to sell and serve the ads on Digg. It?s a deal similar to the one Facebook signed with Microsoft last year.

This move gives us an advertising partner with a larger organization and a more scalable technology platform to keep pace with Digg?s growth. Best of all, it lets the Digg team completely focus on new feature development. Federated Media, which has been an awesome partner for the last year and a half, will continue working with Digg focusing on integrated sponsorships and custom programs like the Arc project in labs.

MyBlogLog SchMOes: Two Months Later

Hard to believe it’s been two months since MyBlogLog first announced their tagging features—and recommended tagging spammers “SchMOes” for Social Media Optimizers. (Why didn’t they just go with “Spammer”?) While it led to a good bit of backlash, they’ve kept the tag.

But is anyone using it? Not really. As of this writing, there were a grand total of 16 MyBlogLog members tagged as SchMOes. And of those 17, 8 of them had tagged themselves. And not in the preemptive way that Robyn Tippins recommended—they’ve proudly kept the tag as part of their identity, instead of hiding it on their profile.

Unfortunately, it seems that instead of helping to label (and thus discourage?) spammers, tagging has only given spammers another way to get links and promote their sites. Looking through some of MyBlogLog’s top communities and their authors, in addition to some relevant tags, I found some tags in categories like these:

Note to Roy Cooper: Consider Restricting the MySpace Sex Offenders, Not the Kids that Use it

North Carolina’s attorney general Roy Cooper is pushing for tighter restrictions on the use of social networks by children, after MySpace revealed 29,000 registered sex offenders were identified as members.

I’m 100% behind Cooper’s efforts to protect children from online predators, but is his solution the best we have? Here’s what Cooper wants:

Cooper is pushing for a state law that would require children to receive parental permission before creating social networking profiles, and require the Web sites to verify the parents’ identity and age. For example, social networking sites would have to compare information provided by a parent with commercial databases. Sites could also force parents to submit credit cards or printed forms.