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Twitter downed from hacker attack

Looks like Twitter's down as of 11 a.m. this morning: Twitter just posted on its status blog that its currently "defending itself against a denial of service attack".

UPDATE: Twitter says the site is back up, but that they're continuing to "defend and recover" from the attack. It took about an hour, but I was able to log into Twitter around noon. The problem also seems to be more widespread: Six Apart, which owns Typepad, how we run this blog, is having some problems - it seems commenting on the blog isn't working. And blog ReadWriteWeb is also reporting that LiveJournal is also down. Bridget thinks there are powers conspiring for us to actually do work today!

And here's what error message I keep getting when I try to update my status on Facebook:

Facebook weird

Some people are getting through: Bridget reports she's able to get some messages. I'm wondering if Facebook is also being targeted or if it's simply overloaded because of more users on Facebook since Twitter's out.

Posted by Niala Boodhoo at 11:05 AM on August 6, 2009 in Facebook , Twitter | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Facebook for work? It's getting harder to keep business out of your personal network.

If Facebook users were a country, it would have the same amount of people as Indonesia, the world's fifth-most populous country.

So it seems we've reached a point where you shouldn't be creeped out when acquaintances from the business world want to "friend'' you.

Think of it as the modern-day (and recession-friendly) equivalent of a business lunch: They're just getting to know you better because they want to do business with you.

That's because they are sensing what a recent social media study by Anderson Analytics documented: Facebookers are the most loyal social networkers compared to Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn.

When asked which network they found the most valuable, 75 percent of the 5,000 users surveyed said Facebook.

Tom H.C. Anderson, managing partner at Anderson Analytics, said some business users felt like they got better networking value from Facebook because that's where they got better tidbits of personal information, compared to say, LinkedIn, where it's harder to display your personality.

For example, if you see an executive posted photos of a recent Disney World trip and you were also just there, "it gives you something to talk about in a job interview,'' he said.

That makes it more of a challenge to balance a private social networking life with business interests. We're learning this as we go. Bridget relies heavily on privacy settings that accept a lot of people but limit what they can see.

Niala is still trying to keep Facebook as primarily personal. So although her profile is still open to anyone sending a message, she's turned off "add as a friend'' request to help keep the volume down.

Tell us how you deal with the balance issue -- e-mail us at Poked@MiamiHerald.com or post a comment below.

Posted by Bridget Carey at 02:09 PM on August 4, 2009 in Facebook , LinkedIn , Privacy settings | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Think before you make a recommendation on LinkedIn

For most people, the biggest initial roadblock to writing a LinkedIn recommendation is the energy and effort it requires.

But before you sit down to write a few breezy paragraphs about a colleague or employee, think about this: Does your company have a policy against it?

The world of professional recommendations, especially for those on the job hunt, became meaningless long ago because of fear of lawsuits. Basically, most places will simply confirm only that someone worked for the company -- they're not allowed to say anything more for fear of being sued.

For example, here at The Miami Herald, the company has a policy that says managers aren't allowed to write any type of recommendation -- virtual or not -- for an employee.

While our company's policy specifically mentions social networking sites like LinkedIn, local attorney Joan Canny said the safe thing is to assume that if your company has a policy about recommendations, the same principles apply when it comes to even a casual reference online.

"Don't expect your employer to be sympathetic because it's a social network,'' said Canny, a labor and employment lawyer with the Miami office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius.

Because an electronic reference lives online, it actually lasts longer and may have greater effect than a letter or a phone call, she points out.

Of course, this only applies to a negative reference -- or especially to someone who you are leery of recommending. Canny thinks you're opening yourself up to potential legal problems if you knowingly write a positive recommendation for someone you know has done something wrong.

We checked with several labor lawyers, who all had different opinions as to how seriously you should take an online recommendation. But all agreed on this: Ultimately, whatever is written reflects on you, too.

If you're on the other side and are looking to spruce up your page with a few kind words, why not ask your colleagues instead of your boss? Sending a request to bosses may put your supervisor in an awkward situation.

Recommend a question we should answer! Send us an e-mail at Poked@MiamiHerald.com or post a comment below.

Posted by Bridget Carey at 12:03 PM on August 3, 2009 in LinkedIn | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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