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

  • W3C Creates Social Web Incubator Group
  • Twitter Violates Privacy By Revealing User Info
  • Flutter: The New Twitter
  • Monitor Conversation With ConvoTrack

W3C Creates Social Web Incubator Group

In a social networking environs where each social network seems to be it's own 'walled garden,' there are a few efforts to bring cooperation and continuity around user generated content such as Google's Open Social. To help push the envelope, the standards body on the Internet known as the World Wide Web consortium (W3C) recently kicked off the Social Web Incubator Group.

According to their web site, the intent of the group is to "understand the systems and technologies that permit the description and identification of people, groups, organizations, and user-generated content in extensible and privacy-respecting ways."

We'll keep an eye on this group and report back on what findings or outcomes unfold. The development and implementation of the group is a step in the right direction.

Twitter Violates Privacy By Revealing User Info

As more and more people and organizations jump on Twitter to join the conversation, is our privacy at risk?  In one example, this may be the case. According to a recent TechCrunch article, a former Skype employee had her personal contact information given out.

It turns out that the ex-Skyper registered @Skype years ago and still held the username and password associated with the account. A current Skype official was recently trying to gain control of the @Skype username and contacted Twitter to access the account. Apparently, Twitter gave out the personal e-mail address of the original account holder.

Admittedly, Skype has the right to gain their namesake user account on Twitter, but Twitter should have handled the situation differently, acting as a middle man to resolve the situation, rather than leaking personal contact information.

As we start adopting these third-party services as a communication platform, these privacy issues need to be vetted and resolved.

Flutter: The New Twitter

A humorous look at our new microblogging online culture comes from the folks at Slate magazine. In a spoof ad, they talk to the founders of Flutter, a new Twitter-like service that restricts messages to a mere 26 characters, implying that 140 characters created too much digital noise.

Check out the video and see for yourself. If 26 characters is the new maximum for our communications, e-mail should get much snappier to get through!

Monitor Social Conversations With ConvoTrack

BackType is a fantastic tool that allows organizations to monitor conversations on social networks about their brands. However, one of the problems with BackType is the necessity to open up a new browser window to see user-generated comments about your keywords.

A new service called ConvoTrack solves this issue by embedding the target website next to a pane where the comments from sites such as FriendFeed, Digg, Twitter and Reddit can bee seen side by side. Think of ConvoTrack as a picture-in-picture view of your website sitting next to the conversation items surrounding the site. So, for example, if you are viewing a certain blog post, you can use ConvoTrack to simultaneously see the comments from across the social web about that blog post.