This week’s big story on Twitter involved a child’s drowning and the strange aftermath.

The loss of a child is tragic. But when it’s publicly posted on the Internet, it’s exponentially magnified.

Emails about an incident that occurred last week blew into my in-box like yesterday’s winter blizzard:

Are any of you following the discussion on Twitter about Military_Mom, or do any of you know her? Her two-year-old son drowned in their pool yesterday. Her Twitter stream is the subject of discussion. She was tweeting about her roosters and uploading pictures of them, then within an hour she was asking for prayer for her son who fell in the pool. Some hours later she was posting pictures of her son on Twitter. There is an outpouring of support for her on Twitter, but there are also some tweets, and some blog posts, first questioning whether or not the child really drowned, and then later when a news story was posted, questions about whether or not she was tweeting when the child fell into the pool.

Wrote one blogger, “It makes me a bit despondent to think that we’re a society so focused on social media that Twittering about your two-year-old dying in a pool is just as routine as “Had a slice of pizza for dinner and watching Survivor!”

Meanwhile, social media experts weigh in.

“oneforty” for all your Twitter needs

Oneforty tracks all the applications (“apps”) that make Twitter even more indispensable for your communication needs, with tons of resources for all things Twitter. Oneforty currently tracks 2,150 apps that make Twitter tailor-made for your needs.

Twitter app directory oneforty has raised $1.6 million, according to an SEC filing. Looks like they’ve got some heavy investors and are gearing up to do big business. The company could eventually charge app developers for featured spots on its homepage.

Shoot for the stars!

Remember the dollar-a-week allowance for doing chores like making your bed, throwing your dirty duds in the laundry, taking out the trash or washing the family car? Mom was right there to make sure you did your stellar best to earn your allowance. Today’s kids are still shooting for the stars, only now Mom monitors your chores and rewards you electronically.

Three strikes and Twitter’s out, temporarily anyway

Early last Friday in the wee hours of the morning, I was on Twitter when all of a sudden, Twitter stopped functioning, and I got server time-out messages. Turns out, Twitter was attacked online when someone got the password to enter the master directory of Twitter’s Internet addresses and then redirected users to an alternate site instead.

It’s the third time this year the San Francisco-based Twitter has been hacked, though luckily no one’s information appeared to be stolen.

In November had more than 19 million unique visitors, an increase of 500 percent from November 2008, according to Nielsen Mobile.

Look to Iran for 2009’s top trending Twitter topics

Iran topped Twitter’s trending topic for the year when the microblogging service became a primary source of news and communications as Iranian citizens took to the streets to protest the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The keyword with hashtag #iranelection finished first in the category of news, above swine flu. People, movies and TV toppers were Michael Jackson, Harry Potter and American Idol, respectively.

Celebs, advertisers and Twitter business model

Let’s say an advertiser pays a Twitter power user to pitch their ad with four tweets over the course of a week. Is that any different from celebrity endorsements on other media? The idea that celebs (and advertisers) would be monetizing their followers is questionable and has raised some interesting discussions. is just one of several ways Twitter can be used for advertising. Twitter will be incorporating advertising of its own soon. Stay tuned to see what that will look like.

Internet buyers beware – shopping scams uncovered

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is! Beware when your desire to purchase “designer” goods at discounted prices blinds your judgment. In Britain, police uncovered more than 1,200 scam websites claiming to offer designer goods, jewelry and electronic items. Customers either received nothing or were sent counterfeit products. Caveat emptor, especially in the ethernet.

Photo tech – world’s largest spherical photo

If you stood where this photo was taken and held out your hand focusing on your little fingernail, this image would show your little fingernail’s amount of detail on a letter-sized piece of paper. Zoom in and see stones and cigarette butts on the ground, read the numbers and signs on houses in this largest spherical panorama in the world. Plus, creators are offering a seek-and-find game that could win you a thousand smackers. Pretty amazing!

Bits and bytes

Bits that come back to byte you:
Tiger’s digital trap; every keystroke lasts forever

Will America be next?
China clamps down on internet access to “protect” public.

FTC warning:
Children viewing explicit sites, bypassing internet controls

Flying fingers!
Kid conquers QWERTY; adults lag behind

Communications overdrive:

We hope this isn’t a trend in auto technology!

Speak clearly:

Drunk texting just got easier. Speak your texts and emails, but do it slowwwwly.

Finding your inner Forrester?
Technology trends toward curing writers’ block. Kind of like “Finding Forrester.”

A glance back in time

The man that history defines as one of the most effective military strategists fought his final battle 64 years ago Dec. 21, in Heidelberg, Germany. General George Smith Patton Jr., who died of injuries from an auto accident, believed in reincarnation and was convinced he had fought in battles as far back as Cannae when Carthage defeated Rome.

My radio show producer Dave Logan has assembled an impressive collection of links that once again bring to life the man remembered as “Old Blood and Guts.”

Other “on this dates”:

1988 – The Lockerbie 747 bombing

1989 – Reagan Legacy – The Brandenburg Gate reopens

Now playing at The Princess Theater

Congratulations to WorldNetDaily reader Jeff Baker who correctly guessed last week’s trivia quiz movie, the 1962 version of “The Manchurian Candidate.”

Jeff agreed it is “a movie that is a good fit for the times, descriptive of certain current and barely-ready-for-prime time players.”

Jeff identified the character Dr. Yen Lo, played by Khigh Dhiegh, who said, “Profit? Fiscal year? Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Beware, my dear Zilkov. The virus of capitalism is highly infectious. Soon you’ll be lending money out at interest!”

Directed by John Frankenheimer, “The Manchurian Candidate” was nominated for two Oscars. Based on the novel by Richard Condon (author of “Winter Kills”), the film was withheld from distribution by star Frank Sinatra for almost a quarter century after President Kennedy’s assassination.

This week’s movie trivia spotlights a film in which the following dialog was spoken:

“In ten days I’ll have a war on with those communist bastards, and I’ll make it look like THEIR fault.”

Name the character, the actor, and the movie.

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