Steve Jobs' resignation heats up social nets

Users turn to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to post good wishes and concerns

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As soon as the news hit late Wednesday that Steve Jobs was resigning as Apple's CEO, social networks heated up with traffic.

Jobs announced that he is stepping down, and then Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, was chosen to replace him. That was all it took to light up sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ with people posting good wishes for Jobs and venting their concerns about what will happen to Apple without Jobs at the helm.

For a while last night, #stevejobs and #CEO of Apple were trending topics on Twitter.

"The beauty of creating something bigger than yourself is that it'll live on without you. so steve jobs resigns as ceo. his ideas continue," tweeted emilychang. And n_adam_stanley tweeted about the number of changes hitting the tech sector, saying, "What would you say if last week, someone had said that in 10 days Google would buy Motorola, webOS would be gone & Steve Jobs would retire?"

Twitter wasn't the only social network feeling the weight of Steve Jobs-related traffic.

On Facebook, Wylie Wong posted, "And today, Silicon Valley gets [its] own earthquake. Ouch." Sandra Gittlen noted, "I really hope Steve Jobs has squirreled away ideas in a vault -- much like great musicians store songs -- for later release. So many innovations left in that amazing 'magical' brain of his."

Google+, the new social network from Google, wasn't left out of the hubbub, either. Peter Petrovski posted on Google+, saying, "He will be missed. He has inspired me like none other, the closest thing I have to an idol."

The social networks had another workout earlier this week when an earthquake hit the East Coast. Before the shaking had stopped, people were tweeting and posting news about the quake and letting loved ones know they were OK.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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