Longstanding social network LiveJournal published a report Friday that asked its users what makes the site unique. Written by a Ph.D. candidate in the Media, Culture, and Communication department at New York University, the report contends that a defining characteristic of LiveJournal users is their "passion" for connecting with others. "LiveJournal's feature set encourages real, engaged, committed, long-term interaction with the site and friends met through the site, creating passionate users who care deeply about LiveJournal," the report said. Unfortunately, many of those "passionate" users seem to be moving to Facebook at a rapid rate.
News discovery service Socialmedian announced Friday that it has been acquired by XING, a business social network that has proved extremely successful in Europe. According to the company, Socialmedian's founder, Jason Goldberg, will relocate to XING's headquarters in Germany and take on the role of vice president of application platform. Socialmedian will stay a standalone service and remain under the creative control of Goldberg and his team.
Yahoo made an interesting announcement Friday, saying it has acquired a 30 percent stake in Network Management Company, an India-based telephone information service. The company did not give any reasons why it has decided to take a stake in the 411 service or if it has plans to expand it internationally to compete with Google's own 411 offering, but Network Management's CEO, T.S. Narayanaswamy, claims Yahoo's funding will create a "world class" team at the firm.
Starting Friday, GreatAmericans.com, a site that tries to inspire Americans through role models in the Armed Forces, is providing users with an opportunity to send recorded celebrity messages of thanks to loved ones serving the country in uniform. The site features messages from a number of "celebrities", including John Ondrasik, the founder of the band Five for Fighting; and Kim Cameron, lead singer of the Side FX Band. Visitors to the site can view celebrity messages, enter the name and information of their loved one, and send the thanks directly to them. The site also allows users to upload video of service men and women.