Joe Green, NationBuilder co-founder

In the summer of 2004, Joe Green, then 21, lived in a trailer with a 70-year old roommate in the 120-degree Arizona desert, while his college friends holed up in a house in Silicon Valley were building a website called TheFacebook.

Green led the grassroots campaign for John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, for four months in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, mobilising local residents to knock on their neighbours’ doors and win votes for Kerry.

Today he’s become the president of NationBuilder, a start-up company that builds software to make jobs like the one he toiled at during that hot summer easier. Read more

ResearchGate, a social network for scientists and academic researchers, has received a second round of venture funding from Founders Fund, adding to the growing cadre of health and science related social start-ups attracting the attention of Silicon Valley investors.

The Series B round builds on the company’s earlier financing from social networking VC gurus Benchmark and Accel in 2010. The company did not disclose the funding amounts for either round. Read more

At the exact same time Facebook filed for its IPO last week, Burning Man, the iconic counter-culture art festival held annually in the Nevada desert, began announcing the results of its first-ever, ill-fated ticket lottery system.

Designed to overcome the computer glitches and server crashes that beleaguered the 2011 ticket sale, the 2012 random lottery system succeeded mainly in infuriating long-time Burning Man participants, about 70 per cent of whom did not get tickets. Read more

Facebook’s stock market launch is biggest test yet for the social network phenomenon. Can the young company, whose rapid expansion has often struck jarring notes over issues such as user privacy, live up to the huge expectations that could peg its valuation as high as $100bn? April Dembosky investigates as Facebook hurtles towards 1bn users.

 Read more

Facebook’s release of 60 new lifestyle apps that let users track the recipes they cooked, the dresses they bought, and the trip to Paris they want to take, are turning the social network into a personal online scrapbook.

The apps, plus Facebook’s opening of its platform to any developer that wants to build on it, are clearly aimed at diversifying the experiences people can have on the site – to stem boredom, and to keep people participating. That’s a sensible business move ahead of the company’s IPO, as it keeps engagement rates up, and that keeps marketers optimistic and spending money.

But is seamlessly sharing the most minute details of daily life truly a way to stay connected with people, even within the limited confines of the internet? Read more

Wikipedia confirmed that it would black out all English language versions of its website around the globe this Wednesday, in opposition to two proposed anti-piracy laws in the US.

More than 1800 “Wikipedians” discussed various protest actions they could take to stall the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), and late on Monday, settled on the 24-hour blackout, to begin at 5 a.m. UTC/GMT on Wednesday.

Wikipedia users will not be able to read or edit English pages, though articles about SOPA and PIPA will remain accessible to readers. Read more

Facebook began showing paid advertising to people in their news feeds today, and introduced a new label for the paid posts that could confuse users about their origins, rather than clarify that the message was placed by an advertiser. Read more

US regulators charged a financial adviser with trying to sell $500bn-worth of fraudulent securities on LinkedIn, and issued an alert warning investors of a growing number of social media schemes.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also called on investment advisory firms to bring their anti-fraud monitoring systems up to date with the evolutions in online communication.

The actions signal a determination of the SEC to pursue fraud on social media sites, and raise the stakes among the many investment firms who have been struggling to find the right technology to track their staff’s social network activity and comply with federal laws. Read more

Facebook’s engineers and executive team moved into their new offices in Menlo Park today, finalizing the company’s move from its old campus in nearby Palo Alto, and punctuating a fresh round of differences with its new neighbors.

The first dispute: traffic.

As Facebook prepares for a hiring boom that will fill its new offices on 1 Hacker Way with more than 9,000 employees, nearly triple its current roster, local residents and politicians are panicking about traffic jams and car pollution. Read more

Jive Software’s successful debut on the Nasdaq on Tuesday reflects investor enthusiasm for social media companies, though it is unclear how eager businesses are to bring a Facebook-style network to the workplace. Read more

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, said the US’ inefficient health care system is a problem Silicon Valley technologists and data scientists are positioned to solve.

“It is my view that the health care system could be dramatically better,” he said at a conference for doctors on Friday. “The intersection of computer science and information technology in health care, and some kind of automation, has to be the obvious next step.” Read more

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg. Getty Images.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer for Facebook, said US education and immigration policy were to blame for the fierce battle Silicon Valley technology companies were fighting over engineers.

American universities should be “stapling a visa to every high-tech diploma” it issues to non-US students, Ms Sandberg said, rather than send foreign students back to their home countries to build companies that will compete with US ones. Read more

Google has upped the ante against Groupon in the increasingly flooded daily deals market, with a new personalization mechanism to help better target deals to subscribers – something Groupon has been trying to do for months with limited success. Read more

Facebook and eBay have joined forces to integrate social networking features into online shopping applications, as both companies attempt to breathe life into the flagging field of social commerce.

While several companies have experimented with setting up storefronts on Facebook to sell directly to consumers while they network with friends, actual purchase rates indicate that people are not interested in buying when they’re socializing online. Read more

On the heels of launching a series of new products that has Facebook users spilling more details of their lives online, the company has now announced a series of new ad products that give advertisers more information about their prospective customers and expands the tools advertisers can use to turn users’ ordinary Facebook activities into paid endorsements. Read more

After dedicating the last couple years to building a secondary market system where employees at private companies like Facebook and Twitter can sell shares, New York-based SecondMarket put itself up for trade on its own exchange. Read more

Twitter is suing one of its third-party developers in its battle to win trademark registration of the term “tweet.” Read more

LinkedIn’s new “Apply with LinkedIn” button began appearing alongside job postings on a thousand different company websites on Monday, including Netflix and LivingSocial, allowing candidates to submit their LinkedIn profile in lieu of a resume or application form.

The product announcement comes the week before LinkedIn will release its first quarterly revenue statement, following its massive IPO in May, and must respond to investors looking for regular returns. Read more

Next Monday, when Groupon sends out its latest cutely-worded deal offerings for sushi and pedicures, in the mix will also be a virtual product: an exclusive audio download of David Gray’s live concert album, Lost and Found – Live in Dublin 2011Read more

RockMelt, the social web browser, has secured $30m in Series B funding from some of the biggest names in venture capital, and added Jim Breyer at Accel Partners and Vinod Khosla at Khosla Ventures to its board of directors as observers.

Both were brought on by early investor Marc Andreessen, partner at Andreessen Horowitz and founder of Netscape, the first widely used web browser. Read more