Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Boston Globe Interviews Martin Wattenberg

In a recent interview with the Boston Globe, Center researcher Martin Wattenberg traced his fascination with how transforming data into pictures helps us understand information in new ways--and sometimes results in images of great beauty. The article chronicles his early love affair with the potential of the Internet, his groundbreaking work on the Map of the Market for SmartMoney Magazine, the birth of the IBM Research Visual Communication Lab (VCL) in 2005, and more.

To read the Globe article click here

If Wattenberg's name sounds familiar to you, maybe it's because you, like so many others, have discovered Many Eyes, the IBM-sponsored public site the VCL created where you can visualize your own data sets and discuss them with others. Below is a visualization of the first academic paper on the Many Eyes system. It uses the Wordle software invented by Center member Jonathan Feinberg

You might also have come across some of these visualizations recently on the New York Times Online site. Behind Many Eyes is the conviction that the use of public, engaging visualizations can lead the wisdom of the crowds to unlock the meaning of complex data sets.

Innovation lab Showcases Social Software

This week at the Innovation Lab at Lotusphere, customers, press, analysts and IBMers will get a glimpse of the way people will work together in the future in the IBM Research Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab, which is sponsored by IBM Research in Cambridge, offers a firsthand look at why IBM is widely viewed as a leader in collaborative and social software. IBM researchers, developers and designers will demo over 20 ground-breaking applications for the Web including several exemplars of research from the Center for Social Software. Lotusphere -- the premiere gathering of Lotus users and the people behind the software they use -- draws thousands of enthusiastic attendees to Orlando every year. Although the lab's projects are not product offerings, it has become known as a place to get a sense of direction for future products, and a place where social software "fit for business" has been highlighted for several years.

Representatives from the Center will be in the lab, discussing Venture Research, the Corporate Residency program and the variety of ways that companies can partner with the Center. Prototypes at various phases of venture research will be shown, and designers will be on hand to show visitors examples of how the Institute can help businesses with strategic planning. The lab is a chance for visitors to meet the researchers, developers, and designers behind this work, try prototypes for themselves, and tell them what they think.

Also, on Tuesday morning, January 20, Irene Greif, Director of the Center for Social Software will give a talk "Glimpsing the Future." Dan Gruen will join her to show a new project in its early design phases, and Chieko Asakawa and Hironobu Takagi will demo the "Social Accessibility project."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Center Featured in ChannelWeb's Top-10 IBM Stories in 2008

The launch of the Center for Social Software made ChannelWeb's list of top-10 IBM stories for 2008. The influential online publication, which keeps its finger on the IT pulse of the technology industry, sees the Center as an "example of IBM thinking deep thoughts about IT."

... [IBM] announced in September that it was creating a think tank called the Center for Social Software in its Cambridge, Mass., laboratory for developing social networking applications. IBM researchers from all over the world, along with partners and customers, will pull multiple cultural perspectives into the project and develop social networking applications geared to specific industries.

Read more here