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

  • Who 'Owns' A Twitter Account: Employer or Employee?
  • The Top Engaged Brands in Social Media
  • Digg Cuts Staff, Re-Focuses
  • Foursquare Launches Badges To Encourage Voting

Who 'Owns' A Twitter Account: Employer or Employee?

Rick Sanchez was recently fired from CNN. Regardless of why he was let go, he had a Twitter account that was regularly used during his broadcasts.  Now that Rick Sanchez is no longer with CNN however, who or what entity can claim ownership over the @RickSanchezCNN Twitter account?

Commentator, Venkat Balasubrmani, dug into this question in a recent post that presents some interesting questions. Ultimately, Sanchez has the 'ownership' of the account, but because he tied it to CNN, are some of the tweets property of his former employer? Is Sanchez bound by intellectual property rules to absolve the CNN name from his Twitter handle?

This raises many questions for those people who Tweet on behalf of their employer. Should you have a separate personal Twitter account in addition to a business account? It seems as if having a hybrid account is bad news if you eventually leave that employer. The best practice would include having a generic Twitter account for business reasons and a personal one for everything else.  

The Top Engaged Brands in Social Media 

As savvy companies think about participating in social media, many questions arise. How do we engage? What's attractive about a campaign and which ideas are just too ludicrous? Social media is definitely an open platform full of innovation, but attractive campaigns are a difficult task to reproduce. How does a brand create a loyal customer base on the social web?

Mashable recently highlighted 5 big brands that are engaged in social media and highlighted their points of success. The list highlights Starbucks and points to the company's huge following on Twitter and Facebook. What makes them successful? It's their conversations. Starbucks re-tweet and talk back to customers who have commentary for the company -- both good and bad. They also seek to carry out interesting conversations with individual members of their community.

Skittles is another interesting company to look at. This brands' success has been in a different arena -- organizing and carrying out funny flash mobs and sending online greeting cards based on the "Taste the Rainbow" slogan.

Depending on your market and audience, there is room for creativity, as each of the mentioned brand campaigns show. One benefit of social media is that campaigns aren't very expensive to pull off, so if it's a flop, you'll have a learning exercise and ammo for the next campaign.

Digg Cuts Staff, Re-Focuses 

A once mighty powerhouse of the Web 2.0 era, Digg is facing hard times these days. The news discovery site recently unveiled a new version of Digg, which was dramatically different than the site users have come to know and love. The radical changes led to a user exodus that has slowed down traffic to the site, leaving the people behind Digg with massive changes to make.

Digg CEO, Matt Williams announced a wave of layoffs that will cut the company down to 42 from 67.  Digg will also go down a new path and direction that will hopefully lead to profitability for the once-dominant news site.

If you ever used Digg to discover news and other interesting content, do you still utilize the site? Has Digg become passe in an era of social networking and constant news sharing? I look forward to reading your comments below. 

Foursquare Launches Badges To Encourage Voting 

If the election in 2008 was any indication, the social web can influence an election and encourage people into action. Foursquare, the location based social network is looking to get in on the action of encouraging people to vote by enabling a special badge. Here's how it works, if you check-in at one of 107,000 polling locations around the United States, you are awarded an "I voted" badge.

Foursquare users can also tag their check-ins with the #ivoted hashtag in order to get their badge.  In addition, the company has unveiled a special website to show check-ins from across the country via a unique visualization.

It is great to see social networks finding unique ways to give people an incentive to vote. Even though a badge might be a small token, every bit helps when asking people to practice their civic duty of voting.