Marc Smith, the senior research sociologist at Microsoft Research, believes that now is a good time to practice his trade. Thanks to the Internet, there is unprecedented access to sociological data. And thanks to computers, sociologists are better able to sift through that data, find trends, and test models.
At Microsoft, Smith uses public Internet data to look at the social phenomenon of online communities, and he tries to make them better for people and better for business.
He recently gave a presentation regarding his work at Microsoft’s TechFest in Redmond, WA, an annual event at which Microsoft researchers from around the world share their latest work.
Technology Review caught up with Smith to ask him about the field of cybersociology.