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Online Harassment becoming a major concern in Australia

Many people are concerned that the Internet and Social Media are difficult to control, and an Australian woman, who was a victim of identity theft and harassment online, has spoken out this week.

When men started calling, emailing, texting, and even turning up at her door, Cathy (not her real name) became aware that a bogus MySpace profile had been set up in her name. The site detailed her personal information, alongside suggestive photographs and explicit text, asking anyone interested to contact her.

It’s not clear how often this kind of thing happens (she thought is was her ex boyfriend), but with 3.8 million profiles in Australia alone, it’s likely that there are many more cases like this, though MySpace insists that it does not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

Cisco Acquires Social Networks Company, Why?

VentureBeat seems to understand why Cisco just acquired Five Across, a San Francisco company that helps companies build their own social networks. Unfortunately, I’m having a had time believing this is a good decision.

The move is understandable, though. Based on conversations with three or four different Cisco executives in recent months, it is clear Cisco sees social networking and the wider Web 2.0 phenomenon as ways to drive Internet traffic, and thus traffic over their routers and other networking gear – and, it follows, more revenue for Cisco.

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.