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The Social Networking Compendium - Part 1 (Twitter)

Paris Hilton, Ashton Kutcher, Oprah, CNN, Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull, Barrack Obama, Britney Spears, William Shatner – do you need more names to convince you social networking is popular?

Unstoppable is one way to describe the exponential growth of social networking websites. From tinsel town Twitterers like Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears and William Shatner, to political heavies like Barrack Obama and Kevin 24/7 there is a tsunami of people using Web 2.0 technologies.

And it’s not just restricted to the celebrities and their PR agencies. Organisations of all kinds have had to come to terms with employees using Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites throughout the day’s work. Some have embraced the trend, while others have resisted.

But whether you love them or hate them, the social networks of this generation are unlikely to disappear off the radar anytime soon.

So, to help you get up to speed on all things Web 2.0 we’ve pulled together some of the hottest news hitting the Internet. In this first instalment, we take a look at Twitter – the hottest thing since sliced bread, or so the press would have you believe.

Twitter

The Polite Way to Take a Break, Ignore, Unfollow on Twitter The more people you follow on Twitter, the more you realize the truth: Sometimes, you want a short break from certain people. Sometimes, you even need to break up. Topping the list of annoyances, there's the too much information (TMI) tweets, followed closely by the criminally self-promotional and the disgustingly self-indulgent. These tweets can trickle into your Twitter stream with great regularity, rendering the service at times useless. Luckily, you can deal with the problem Twitter users in your life. From utilizing free applications, to simply "unfollowing" someone after they fail to exercise basic Twitter Etiquette, here's a few ways to deal with bad Twitter players - and not look like a jerk while doing it.

10 Twitter tips for the workplace Having trouble convincing your boss that Twitter isn't a waste of time? Then you might find it interesting to learn that social media evangelists across the U.S. federal government are blasting out Tweets several times a day to their constituents. Here are their suggestions for how to integrate new media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Flickr into a large, old-fashioned bureaucracy:

Escape from the Twittering masses I'm thinking maybe this whole social media thing has gone too far. Maybe we don't really need to know what everyone we've ever encountered is doing every single moment of their lives in 140 characters or less. It's starting to distort our collective notion of reality.

Are you a business Twit? Kevin 24/7 does it and so does Malcolm of the opposition. Britney and Barrack are also on-board, joined by the stellar crowd of William Shatner and MC Hammer. Twitter certainly attracts an eclectic bunch of users as it does a generally flattering amount of press.

NASA astronaut says he will Twitter from space A NASA astronaut says he'll be Twittering from the space shuttle Atlantis as it travels to and from its mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Are Oprah, Ashton Kutcher taking the geek out of Twitter? With Ashton Kutcher racing CNN to be the first to have 1 million Twitter followers, and Twitter's CEO Evan Williams sitting down with the ladies on Oprah Friday, what is becoming of the Web site that's garnered such techie love? Is all this mainstream media attention changing Twitter?

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Twitter's U.S. users nearly double in March Twitter Inc. continues to be on a roll. The micro-blogging site had a 131% increase in U.S. visitors just from February to March of this year, according to online traffic tracker ComScore Inc. Twitter had 9.3 million visitors last month - five million more than it did in February.

Kutcher and CNN Battle for Millionth Twitter Fan Electronic Arts will make you a star in its upcoming video game The Sims 3 and give you a free copy of every single game EA makes in 2009 if you're Ashton Kutcher 's one millionth follower on Twitter. But there's a catch: Kutcher has to beat CNN to the one million-follower mark. The video game maker threw out the side bet on its Twitter feed last night as the race to be the first Twitter user to win one million followers heats up. CNN and Kutcher are both expected to reach one million followers sometime Thursday.

Twitter's ecosystem builds with job search app The social media phenomenon that is Twitter continues to attract third-party developers with the London-based WorkDigital developing TwitterJobSearch, a job search engine for the microblogging service now available online (in beta, of course).

Twitter attracting techie labs As Network World's Alpha Doggs network research blogger, I've been searching Twitter in recent months for vendor, university and government labs and research operations using the popular microblogging service. While I've found a handful, I'm not impressed: For the most part they're just spitting out press releases or blog headlines.

Twitter wrestles with fourth worm attack Another worm attack early Monday on Twitter kept the micro-blogging Web service chasing down infected accounts and deleting rogue tweets

Salesforce.com-Twitter could spell privacy fears Salesforce.com Inc.'s announcement that it will integrate Twitter into its Service Cloud offering may be a great way to ascertain brand reputation, but experts warn of "Big Brother" fears among Twitter users.

Google acquisition rumors reflect Twitter's importance While rumors of an imminent Google acquisition of Twitter were apparently off base, it wouldn't be surprising to see the companies strike up a formal collaboration or partnership.

Twitter, Facebook can improve work productivity Using Twitter and Facebook at work will make you a better employee, says the University of Melbourne.

Twitter's recruiting efforts hint at its plans As pundits debate what strategy Twitter should follow, the company's job openings provide a peek at its plans, which seem to include boosting partnerships, leveraging a massive data warehouse, strengthening its search engine and solidifying its Japan service.

Just how much is Twitter's burn rate? Relentless biz-blogger Kara Swisher is pushing again for Facebook to acquire Twitter. Twitter will never IPO on its own, she says, and Facebook is Twitter's most natural fit as a parent company.

The top must-follow Twitter feeds You know you're a social network geek when your online friends outnumber your flesh and bones buddies -- and you probably keep in touch with them via Twitter, the microblogging site. Launched in October 2006, its members share their ongoing thoughts in 140 characters or less. Here are Twitter feeds you don't want to miss!

NASA's Mars Lander tweets and blogs about its death "Take care of that beautiful blue marble out there in space, our home planet. I'll be keeping an eye from here." Those were among the last words posted by NASA officials identified as the Phoenix Mars Lander on Twitter. Personnel at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab have been posting in the voice of the Mars Lander since May 25, when it touched down on the Red Planet during what mission control at the space agency described as "seven minutes of terror."