Status update: Social network news

social networks

The social networking space is never quiet. Facebook’s IPO is scheduled to go live on May 18, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg putting the site’s value at up to $96 billion. This follows that social network’s recent launch of an organ donation tool, of all things. In other news, New York City teachers get some social networking guidelines for interacting with students online, and Forbes and The Washington Times look into the future.

New feature: donate a kidney on Facebook

When Facebook announced it was launching an organ donation tool, it sounded like a dystopic scenario in which doctors would troll Facebook for compatible donors and send out organ requests. (Not dissimilar to the urban legend that involves waking up on ice in a bathtub missing a kidney.) That, of course, is not what Facebook intended. Rather, the social network created the tool to help users let their friends and family know that they are a registered organ donor. As’s Chloe Albanesius reports, adding that you’re an organ donor on Facebook doesn’t automatically enroll you in an organ registry — you have to sign up for that separately, though Facebook does provides links. Albanesius also explains how to update your profile (now Timeline) with this information.

Friend request: teacher to student

Social networking in the workplace has led to problems – even firings in some cases – but when the workspace is a school, things can get even more complicated. New York City’s education department recently announced guidelines for the city’s public school teachers that address interacting with students on social networks. The basics: teachers can communicate with students on social networks — but not on personal pages. Teachers can set up pages for classroom use (with the permission of their supervisor) and students can join these pages and chat with their teacher and fellow students (with their parents’ permission). 

The future of the web: social, social, social

The Washington Times kicked off a series of interviews with social media experts last week – starting with Tim Moore, CEO of CrushIQ, a firm that offers social media strategy and other services to businesses. Among his observations is that search will become more and more social. “Consumers … are going to want input from their trusted friends and family. I already see this happening on Google+,” Moore said.

Google and Facebook: obsolete?

Over at Forbes, Eric Jackson looks at the evolution of the Internet, from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 to mobile.  As he puts it, “we will never have Web 3.0, because the Web’s dead.” While Google and Facebook are successful now, he wonders if they’ll be able to adapt to a mobile world, as he looks back at companies like Netscape, Yahoo and MySpace that struggled to compete in the 2.0 landscape. Jackson uses Instagram as an example of a fully mobile company — you snap pictures and share them with friends without ever using a computer — or even visiting a website. 

124 thoughts on “Status update: Social network news

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