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Community Technologies

.:: Microsoft Research :: Community Technologies Group : Overview Overview

Welcome to the Community Technologies Group

The Community Technologies Group builds technology to study and enhance computer mediated collective action. A variety of tools enable populations to gather and exchange goods and services. Such systems include: Documents, File systems, Files, Email, Email lists, Distribution Lists, Newsgroups, Forums, Web Boards, Chats, IM, MMORPGs, Markets, Social Network Systems, Matchmaking Systems, Blogs, Wikis, Web Pages, Collectively Authored Databases, SMS, Phone Cams, Mobile devices, Desktops, Laptops, Displays, and Wireless Networks.

Our group focuses on the systematic study of the emergent social systems that grow from the collective use of these tools. We combine social theory with data mining and information visualization techniques to explore alternative interfaces to collectively constructed content. A common theme for our group is to reflect measurements of collective activity back into the systems that support it.

Our two main goals are:

  • To collect, measure, map, and explore data about social cyberspaces focusing on conversation and discussion environments.
  • To design and prototype collective interaction tools, interfaces, and visualizations that help people understand and interact cooperatively with potential partners.