The new year is off to a great start with a flurry of press coverage for both Freedom and Anti-Social. The coverage started with Pico Iyer’s wonderful New York Times piece, The Joy of Quiet. Iyer’s reflection on finding quiet in the modern world touched a nerve – in the new years there seems to be a coalescing sense of weariness around “connecting and sharing with people in our lives.”
Yesterday’s launch of the Google “+” suite of products was a pleasant surprise. Google’s “social network” project has long been rumored, and Google’s approach to social — a suite of independent tools — was forward-thinking. It is abundantly clear that Google has great minds working on this project; I enjoyed seeing Googlers I follow start Tweeting about their parts of “+”.
This week, Christian Yoder and I were in Vancouver to present our note, “Identifying Social Capital in the Facebook Interface” at the CHI 2011 conference. This research was envisioned and led by Christian – it was his undergraduate honors thesis, for which he received highest honors. It was a proud moment to see a student I had mentored presenting research at the premier venue for HCI studies. Christian presented the findings to a packed room – I’d guess about 250 people with an overflow room as well. We were lucky to be slotted with CMU’s Moira Burke, who does amazing work on the relationship between Facebook use and social well-being.
I’m pleased to share my dissertation, Networked Information Behavior in Life Transition. Thank you to Dr. Gary Marchionini and my committee for their wonderful guidance and feedback.
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Yesterday, my software Anti-Social was featured on the NPR program “All Things Considered.“ The story was part of the weekly “All Tech Considered” segment that highlights technological trends and innovations. I really enjoyed the story – and I actually heard it on the broadcast, which was quite exciting. Here’s a quote from the story: