Gossip is good for social networks; gossip is about how we connect to each other. Rumors are not bad but they are instead probes for facts — as in “I heard that …”
This from Gossip and rumor expert, Nicholas DiFonzo, whose book Rumor Psychology gets a brief review on BoingBoing with some good links.
By the way, I heard that when he was in grad school DiFonzo wore even bigger glasses. Could that be true?