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Chief Social Scientist Marc Smith, Ph.D.

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Marc Smith is Chief Social Scientist for the Connected Action Consulting Group, a purveyor of fine quality social media analysis platforms and services.

Smith is a sociologist researching the structure of internet social media. He was formerly senior research sociologist at Microsoft Research specializing in the social organization of online communities and computer mediated interaction. He founded the Community Technologies Group at MSR. He also contributed to the release of the Telligent Analytics 3.0 social media reporting product, adding social network analysis features.

He is the co-editor of Communities in Cyberspace (Routledge), a collection of essays exploring the ways identity; interaction and social order develop in online groups. Smith's research focuses on computer-mediated collective action: the ways group dynamics change when they take place in and through social cyberspaces. Many "groups" in cyberspace produce public goods and organize themselves in the form of a commons.

Smith's goal is to visualize these social cyberspaces, mapping and measuring their structure, dynamics and life cycles. At MSR, he led the development of the "Netscan" engine and related tools for visualizing and reporting on Usenet newsgroups and related discussion archives.

Smith is applying this work to develop open tools for generalized community and social network analysis that will provide a free or web based system for groups of all sizes to collect and analyze their discussions and social media collections. The NodeXL project is an example: a free and open social network analysis extension to Excel 2007 at http://nodexl.codeplex.com

Smith received a B.S. in International Area Studies from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1988, an M.Phil. in social theory from Cambridge University in 1990, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA in 2001.

Specialties:
Sociology, Social Network Theory, Collective Action Dilemmas, Information Visualization, Data Mining, Social Media, Online Community


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