Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:

  • Email Or Facebook, Which Do You Check First?
  • WordPress.com Reaches 200 Million Blog Posts
  • LinkedIn Re-Vamps Groups Feature
  • Utah's Attorney General's Tweet Causes Uproar

Email Or Facebook, Which Do You Check First?

When you first turn on your computer, do you connect to Facebook or some other social networking site first, or do you check your email? More than half of respondents in a recent survey said they check email, whereas 11% of U.S. online users check Facebook ahead of anything else.

ExactTarget sought to explore how people interact with brands and social media marketing by asking this question. According to the group, those who check e-mail first are more task-oriented and check out brands on an as-needed basis. However, if social networking is your first destination, you fall into the category of folks who like to engage with brands and find entertainment from it.

How do you interact with brands online? Are there certain businesses and organizations that drive you to check them out on your own out of sheer curiosity?

WordPress.com Reaches 200 Million Blog Post

There are many blogging platforms available for online publishers to choose from. WordPress is a popular choice because it's free, open source and very customizable. And now that version 3.0 is out, it's list of capabilities is even more vast than ever before.

Another option for folks is to have a hosted blog at WordPress.com, and WordPress.com recently announced that they've passed 200 million blog posts on their platform. This astonishing number comes from the 11.4 million blogs that are hosted on the site. Also, WordPress.com says that about 260 million people come to the site on a monthly basis.

The 200 million mark is impressive, especially considering WordPress.com is a late entrant when compared to BlogSpot from Google and the other offerings out there. It would be interesting to know how many inactive blogs are on WordPress.com platform, as many folks start blogs and never continue them after a few posts.

LinkedIn Re-Vamps Groups Feature

Groups have been on LinkedIn for a long time. The facility allows you to form a group held around a specific theme, technology or profession. Over the next week, LinkedIn will be implementing changes to Groups that will make them much more engaging and useful.

First of all, the "Start a Conversation" button will be replaced with a simple publishing box where users can post messages or links to the group. The publishing box is much like the status update box on Facebook. Users (on an individual basis) can also now follow individuals or even conversations if they find either interesting and notable.

To make conversations amongst influencers more noticeable and discoverable, group members can 'Like" and leave comments on conversation. The most liked conversations will bring the best to the top of the group, Digg style.

Groups have been a favorite feature of some LinkedIn users, and now with the new changes, this facility on is bound to get even more popular.

Utah's Attorney General's Tweet Causes Uproar

Last week, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff announced via Twitter his go-ahead to commence the execution of a prisoner on death row. The tweet caused shock and disbelief in the Twitter world. As anyone on Twitter knows, the messaging platform is primarily used for sharing links and conversation, not for announcing such morbid events such as Shurtleff's.

As Twitter grows and more people use the tool, how the medium is used will change and flux. No matter how you feel about the death penalty, this event marks a change where users are utilizing Twitter to express their daily lives. Whether Utah's AG should be discussing execution announcements, that's up to the Utah Governor to decide.

What do you think? Is this just a tiny blip on the radar or some sort of watershed moment for Twitter and communication on the micro-blogging channel?