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This was a big week for the Mashable community: In addition to the excitement of the vice presidential debate and the new gadgets from Apple, we also reached the incredible milestone of one million fans on Facebook. Our community has seen skyrocketing growth over the past few years, both nationally and outside the U.S. We continue to be humbled and inspired by our fantastic community.
As a way of saying "thank you," we made this infographic for our fans. The infographic celebrates the way Facebook has affected the lives of our community, and highlights some remarkable stories from Mashable readers. The explosion of social media has dramatically affected most of our lives, and this week several of our stories drew our attention to the ways the digital dialogue is setting the agenda for important conversations around the world.
[More from Mashable: Top 16 Comments on Mashable This Week]
Last month sports fans took to Twitter to share their indignation over the behavior of replacement refs, and this week we saw another clash of the sports world and social media -- this time over photos. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has banned the use of Instagram and other photo-altering software in recruitment material. Did the NCAA take their regulations too far? Our readers let us know their opinions.
And even if there aren't official rules about the use of social media in a job search, there is a de facto divide between networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. That's why we were surprised by this study claiming that job seekers were more likely to turn to Facebook than LinkedIn during job searches. We looked for our community's input on whether any of our readers had ever found a job through Facebook.
While it's hard to imagine our lives without networks like Instagram and Facebook, it's worth remembering that at one time they were no bigger than other startups that have since gone the way of the dinosaur. We took a look back at some of the hottest tech startups and asked: Where are they now? The rapid decline of some of the most anticipated startups of the past few years reminds just how quickly the digital world is changing around us.
And nowhere is the influence of social media more clear than in the realm of politics. Mashable was on hand to liveblog the vice presidential debate, which generated more than 3.5 million tweets. Through the lens of Twitter, the debate became a global conversation -- replete with plenty of participation from the worldwide audience. As the forum of political discussion changes, some campaigns are trying to take advantage of what social media has to offer. This was evident in the Obama campaign's quick efforts to exploit the explosion of "malarkey" commentary on Twitter.
The participation of our readers in the Mashable dialogue is invaluable, which is why every week we highlight the insight and commentary of our community. We encourage you to join the discussion by getting involved in Mashable Follow and brushing up on our best practices for commenting. Next week your voice could be featured in the top comments!
Image courtesy of Flickr, Kasaa
This story originally published on Mashable here.