The REport

Let’s get the sad news out of the way first. Last week, Twitter’s oldest user, Ivy Bean, a 104-year-old English woman died. She’ll be sorely missed by her more than 55,000 followers. What an impressive following!  The news reminds us of the age-defying nature of  social networking: seniors are the fastest growing demographic of social networkers and there are twice as many users over the age of 50 as users under age 18. In other demographic news, a recent survey from comScore found that social networking reaches a higher percentage of women than men. Does that surprise you?

Mood swings…Research of more than 300 million tweets discovered a pattern of moods each day: happy tweets from 6 to 7 am, sad tweets from noon to 4 pm and positive tweets again in the evening. Now, what does that say about the afternoon doldrums?

In other social media news, Facebook is testing a Questions feature that allows users to pose queries to the site’s 500 million users. One of the feature’s coolest options allows users to”tag” a question with a topic, and the site will direct the question to users who list that topic in their interests. Speaking of Q&As, is attempting to become more social. Have you “Asked” lately? And, if so, do you find these services useful?

The latest version of Bump, the application that allows iPhone users to wirelessly share contact information, now enables cronies to compare their calendars. Users can also see common availability and send invitations. Talk about scheduling on the go! The new feature also allows quick connections through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This application truly is the 21st century business card and meeting planner!

In a sign of the times, Harvard Business School and Columbia Business School are among business programs adding courses on social media to their MBA curricula. These graduates will surely have a leg up in the corporate world!

Twitter is all about your connections, but it can be very time consuming to find the right people to follow. Well, it may have just gotten a little easier with the launch of the “Suggestions for You” feature which helps people find others on the site with similar interests. Very useful!

And finally, in a truly social shopping experience, Amazon users can now connect to Facebook and get birthday reminders, gift suggestions and recommendations from friends. There are no more excuses for bad gift giving!

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