microsoft social software symposium


My colleagues and students (not to mention my family) have been making pointed comments lately about my absence. And while I'm worn out from traveling, and tired of being away from home, the last few months have been a great opportunity to extend my contacts in the technical world, and get a sense of what other people are doing and thinking about in emerging technologies.

Tomorrow morning I leave at the crack of dawn for my last scheduled trip this spring--I've been invited to the Social Software Symposium that's being held by the Social Computing group at Microsoft Research (along with IBM Research and FX/Palo Alto).

There've been some complaints about the invitation-only nature of this gathering , which is understandable. There's always an inclusion/exclusion issue when you try to keep a popular activity restricted in terms of size in order to enhance the quality of interaction. I know I was bummed not to be at FooCamp, or at Clay's social software gathering a while back, but I was still glad to be able to see the ideas that emerged from both.

I am delighted to find that the symposium will be recorded, and the recordings made publicly available--and that those of us attending will be allowed/encouraged to blog and otherwise disseminate what's going on. I'll be blogging while I'm there, and hopefully using what I hear and learn to inform the things I'm working on curricularly and that I write about online (here, and there, and there).

Private note to Scott Koon: I would like to think that I don't smell only of "soap and old books," though as a librarian and a mom, I know that I probably do carry the permanent scent of both. And while I haven't met many of the people who'll be at this symposium, I know for a fact that danah boyd, Clay Shirky, and MImi Ito are all pretty far from most people's ideas of stuffy Ivory Tower academics! :)


Scott's an okay guy. Surely he didn't mean *you* when dissing the academics.

Will you have any time for out-of-conference activities while you are in the area?

Funny how broad-brush generalizations fall flat when you try to apply them to individuals, eh? ;)

Am emailing separately about availability.

hehe, even though I did qualify my statement, "With only a few exceptions", I can supply a little bit of context. My educational background is in the hard sciences (Biochemistry). Prior to moving to Seattle, I worked for a company that was a spin off of a Complexity Science "think tank" The Santa Fe Institute ( Right now I work for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center doing data mining and inference. Even though I haven't DONE any hard research since college, I'm still very interested in research. Primarily in the Complexity field (Complex Adaptive Systems and machine learning).

So take my comment more in the vein of the pot noticing that the kettle is a little dark, perhaps a nice charcoal and accept an apology for any personal affront. :)

P.S. What's another name for a "broad-brush generalization"? "Emergent Property of a system". ;)

I tried like hell to wrangle an invite to this conference - but it didn't seem like they wanted the locals involved :(

Glad you'll be in the area - give a ring if you have time and want to drop by the campus for a cup of coffee - I'm even in the same building as the Information (nee Library) School :) (206.406.1315)

Look forward to reading reports of the conference.




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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on March 27, 2004 1:24 PM.

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