Tag Archives: social networking

News of Bin Laden’s Death Brings Another Defining Moment for Twitter

It looks like we’ve got another “Where Were You When…” moment. Where were you when you heard Osama Bin Laden had been killed. For millions of us, the answer is: Twitter.

The micro-blogging site had a defining moment yesterday. First there were a few Tweets that President Obama was set to make an announcement and some wondered what it was about and others complained it was going to interrupt their TV watching plans.

When it became clear how rare this announcement was to be, the speculation Tweets kicked into high gear. Libya? China? Gas Prices? Aliens?

Some did suspect that it was Osama Bin Laden related and that notion caught like wildfire. The mainstream media outlets could only say something big national security wise was on the horizon, but that’s it.

My Twitterfeed was frenetic. I stopped Tweeting and started ReTweeting and finally I just sat back and watched it unfold. It made me wonder, how can mainstream media win the race to be first to share information when it’s going up against something like Twitter?

By the time President Obama made the announcement, it felt like old news. Yeah, yeah, we know Osama Bin Laden is dead. Now tell us the details.

Of course all the details can’t fit into 140 characters and that’s where the starkest distinction between crowd-sourced-information-spreading and mainstream media lies.

With micro-blogging and blurred lines of expectations, the information game has drastically changed. Into what? I don’t know, but I do know that having TweetDeck up on my laptop and CNN on my big screen TV was like looking at the difference between a typewriter and an iPad.

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Sippy Cups & Social-Networking: Togetherville a Facebook for Kids

 Have you guys heard about the new website Togetherville? It’s essentially Facebook 4 Kids.

The social networking site is for children ages 6 to 10 and their parents. Togetherville makes a lot of strides to provide a safe place for kids to interact online. Though they can do art projects, play games and swap videos, everything is vetted first. Like Facebook, kids can have friends, interact with children of their parents friends and they can comment on posts and make status updates or “quips.” The comments however are canned and innocent: I (heart) my family!

All of this sounds good, but what’s the point and will it catch on? I’m sure the same questions were asked of Twitter and look how that turned out. But still sippy cups and social networking?

Togetherville says that as kids in what I call the iGeneration are more plugged into their gadgets there’s a need for a safe place for them to practice healthy social-networking habits. It says it helps them to become “good digital citizens.”

One of my girlfriends told me recently how her 6-year-old threw a fit because she wasn’t allowed to get her own Facebook account. My friend’s compromise is that they share mom’s. But you can easily see where that could get sticky. All of a sudden you’ve got 7-year-olds posting random stuff on your wall or some high school cockroach making inappropriate comments that you can’t delete quite fast enough.

Togetherville would work well for them, but it’s like all social networking, if no one participates what fun would it be. Would you be on Facebook as much if there were only 30 people in the Facebook world, as opposed to the 410 million that are there today?

So we’ll see. I have to admit I’m skeptical, but intrigued.

It Takes an Online Village to Raise a Child

Social Networking has left its thumb print on us all. You’re reading this blog, you’ve undoubtedly run across cringe-inducing TMI on someone’s Facebook page and if you Tweet, you’ve shared a bit of randomness yourself. It’s music, news, politics, business, sports, celebrity gossip and your gossip, nothing is untouched. Not even parenting.

The websites are too many to count: Baby Center, Parenting, JustMommies, Baby Zone, and GreatDad just to name a few. But they all serve to bring us together as parents so we can… well crowd source our parenting.

You just found out your pregnant, you hop online and begin to scour these sites for any and all tidbits and so it begins: Am I the only one who’s freaked out about having a baby? What on earth is going on with my boobs? My baby will only sleep during the day, help!

And helpful it is. There’s advice after advice after advice. Some of it is really good and you connect closely with people who are on the same leg of this mommy journey as you.

I was lucky enough to join two wonderful only communities when I was pregnant with my son Logan. I’ve been part of these two particular boards, as they’re called, for three years. These women know me. They know me and love me warts and all and I love them just as unconditionally. I’ve met some of them in person, which is always so exciting and seven of us are planning a girls weekend next month in Chicago.

We’ve been through a lot together. Not just the birth of our children and various bumps and bruises, there’s been miscarriages, one woman lost her husband who was fighting overseas, lost jobs, new jobs, new homes, marriages on the brink of divorce and couples rekindling their love.

We’re a varied group, some work in the home, others outside the home. Some have financial difficulties, other’s are well-off, we’ve got staunch liberals and staunch conservatives. But our connectivity is our glue. We support each other, help each other in any way we can, even if it’s just listening to a rant.

My how times have changed. With grandma no longer down the hall, down the street or even across town, recent generations have raised children with a lot less support than decades past. Social networking has changed all that as we’ve created our own community.

Good thing too because this parenting thing is tough stuff and it does take a village.