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What's new in social media this week? Check it out: Google may be in talks to buy Groupon ' then again, there was a rumor earlier this year that Yahoo was going to buy the website, which turned out to be false. Diaspora, the new 'Facebook alternative,'? is sending out invites to a select group of people for testing. The website has raised tens of thousands of dollars in funding. Thanks to a privacy backlash at Facebook, Diaspora has been pitching that it is a more private alternative and allows you more control over who sees your information. Facebook founder, Chris Hughes, has launched Jumo ' a social network that helps like-minded people work together for social causes. ReSearch.ly, the Twitter search engine, give brands insight into micro Twitter communities by allowing users to search tweets around specified keywords. Once the search begins, tweets are shown in the application and the user can filter the stream by several factors. In the spirit of the holiday season, this post would not be complete without a mention of NoradSanta! This year people everywhere can monitor Santa's flight courtesy of Norad and Google Maps.
This week, the loudest buzz in the digital arena was overwhelmingly emanating from Facebook. It seems that their strategy to integrate themselves into users' digital and physical lives is, as expected, generating consumer resistance. Revealed last week, there are plans in motion for a location-based status update feature'positioning Facebook as either a Foursquare competitor, or potential partner. The possibility of a database of half a billion consumers' current locations is leaving marketers' mouths watering. This announcement, along with the recent news of Facebook's Open Graph and Instant Personalization features, has induced criticism of the site's minimizing privacy settings (consider these graphics of the website's security over time). Not surprisingly, this week, fifteen consumer privacy protection organizations took action against Facebook by jointly filing a complaint with the FTC. It's interesting that even though the majority of consumers are concerned with the lack of security, Facebook and content creators continue to charge ahead. In the three weeks since announcing their Open Graph system, already over 100,000 websites have sided with Facebook by adding 'like'? functionality to their site. This sovereign company continues to make our privacy decisions for us and, despite all the hesitation and opposition, we still choose to participate daily. However, there are some users out there who are looking for an alternative to Facebook and attempting to establish a new norm: open social networking.