Social Media News

Social networking for business is becoming more and more important to grow businesses. To do so, you need to keep up to date with the news on social media.

Twitter Founder Joins Venture Capital Firm
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is taking on a new role at a venture capital firm by joining the Boston-based Spark Capital. Just weeks after publicly announcing his intention to leave Twitter, he has lined up a new job as a strategic adviser at the VC company. Stone will bring his social networking savvy and sense for building a great company culture to his new role, where he will be helping Spark Capital to evaluate investments and offer insight on their current portfolio. Spark is a young venture firm that has grown quickly by backing high-profile startups like Twitter. The company has invested in 17 different New York City startups in the last three years, including Boxee and Tumblr. The firm continues to focus on the social media space, raising $360 million for digital media investments last fall.

Social Web Splintering
Both Facebook and Google + are busy implementing a variety privacy measures which could have a splintering effect on the social web. Facebook is changing the way that users can access and control their profiles and content sharing, by allowing them to share status updates with only certain friends or groups. The Google+ concept of Circles is a similar concept which allows users to segregate their friends into different groups. While viewed by many as a positive step, there are others who worry that they will make social networks less social. There are a number of changes to user profiles, tagging, photos and other social network elements in Facebook which now give users the ability to control who views specific pieces of content and reject tags that have been applied to photos without permission.

Social Network Regulatory Compliance
Social media is having a profound impact on many organizations large and small. While this creates opportunities for companies to grow ad streamline processes, it also poses new regulatory compliance challenges. Companies need to safeguard their data, and in order to this IT departments have been forced to track an ever-expanding array of communication options and then block, collect, and archive employee exchanges. Businesses seem to be getting a better handle on employee e-mail usage, but the level of control available with IM and social media still lags. This could leave companies open to embarrassment and even lawsuits because they are not properly tracking employee communication. The issue has become more important as employees rely more on electronic methods for vital work communications, and corporate abuses of information technology have led in part to more government regulation like Sarbanes-Oxley.

Social Networks and Revolutions
The worldwide human rights organization Amnesty International has praised the role of social networks in helping to bring about what it calls the biggest challenges to repressive regimes since the end of the Cold War. However, the group also warned that dictators could easily use the same networks to crush revolts. Amnesty’s report on global human rights in 2010 noted that government attempts to block internet and mobile phone access backfired in countries like Tunisia where massive anti-government protests led to the president’s ouster. The group warned that repressive governments are learning from these mistakes, and actively seeking ways to use social media technology against activists. Instances in Egypt and Syria where bloggers have been arrested are just one example of this danger. The report also lists abuses, torture and restrictions on speech in nearly 100 countries, and at least 50 countries are accused of holding unfair trials and prisoners of conscience.