Twitter can be used for a lot of things — a personal newswire, celebrity PR machine, or meme distribution system. It appears that one small town in Spain is taking advantage of Twitter's real-time conversation stream to replace the complaint line at City Hall. Read MoreThe DownloadThe Download: Maia Majumder sees herself as a data point
Millions of Americans battle anxiety disorders and depression, conditions that sap social ties and leave sufferers vulnerable if they lack a viable support system. Now, a group of researchers with ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are creating a private social network where people can anonymously share their daily struggles, and also find kinship.
While the forum won’t replace professional treatment or therapy, Robert Morris, who created the system as a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab, said it does show promise as a reliable support for people battling stress. Read More
Social media is big business — and it should get even bigger as traditional ad spending continues moving to digital channels.
One of the beneficiaries of that shift is Nanigans. The five-year-old company, based in Boston, helps advertisers get the most out of their marketing budget by allowing them to target their digital ads and see how well they perform across hundreds of millions of social-media users.
Read MoreThe DownloadThe Download: In 140 characters, state senator takes on the Twitter trolls
Twitter has tripled the number of staff members working on safety issues and rolled out new systems to track harassment and abusive behavior on the social network. Among the new features will be a method to verify the identity of users, as well as a mechanism for reporting accounts that "dox," or share, a target's personal information, such as a home address, online.
There is a Christmas tree at City Hall — there's one every year — but the twist this season is that the colors of the twinkling lights are being orchestrated through tweets. Those who wish to hack the holiday spirit can use the hashtag #WickedCoolTree to take momentary control of the Tannenbaum's hue. Read More
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