Shelly D. Farnham, Ph.D.

Shelly D. Farnham, Ph.D.

Biographical Statement

Shelly Farnham is a research scientist specializing in social technology research and development.  Her areas of expertise include online community, social networks, identity, mobile social, and civic media.

Shelly earned a PH.D. in Social Psychology in 1999, and through her drive to have a real world impact on people's lives, has since worked as an innovation researcher at both world class organizations such as Yahoo! (2009) and Microsoft Research (1999-2005, and presently), and as a startup consultant and founder (2006-2008).  She brings her expertise in social technology theory, research, and best practices to the design, development, and evaluation of early stage new technologies in the social space -- including social networking, community, and mobile social technologies.

Shelly's unique approach integrating creativity, social science, and development skills has led to numerous award winning papers, patents, and startup companies, and frequent appearances in news media.  See her full CV for work history, publications, patents, and statement of research interests and contributions.

Recent Publications
Current Projects
  • Whooly
    A mobile web app that makes latent, hyperlocal neighborhood communities more visible, to help neighbors connect. This project leverages intelligent filters and event detection algorithms to help users find relevant, spiking topics about what is happening here and now.
  • Socl
    Socl — pronounced social — lets you create, collect and share stuff you love. From rich visual collages to short animated media and memes, express yourself through posts that take seconds to create, collect and share on Socl, as well as Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Other HCI Papers

Cheng, L., Farnham, S., and Stone, L. (2002). Lessons learned: Building and deploying shared virtual environments. P. 90-111. In R. Schroeder (Ed.) The Social Life of Avatars: Presence and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments . Springer: London 2002.

Cheng, L., Stone, L., Farnham, S., Clark, A. M., & Zaner-Godsey, M. (2000) Hutchworld: lessons learned. A collaborative project: Fred Hutchsinson Cancer Research Center & Microsoft Research. In Proceedings of Virtual Worlds Conference 2000, Paris, France, June 2000. Reprinted in J. C. Heudin (Ed.) Virtual Worlds, 2000, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg.

Chesley, H., Kawal, R., Landau, J., Cheng, L., Farnham, S., Seban, S. (2000). Scripting business social interactions. In Proceedings of SSGRR, July 2000.

Davis, J., Farnham, S., Jensen, C. (2002). Decreasing online ‘bad’ behavior. In Extended Abstracts of CHI 2002, Minneapolis, April 2002.

Davis, J., Zaner, M., Farnham, S., Marcjan, C., McCarthy, B. (2003) Wireless brainstorming: Overcoming status effects in small group decisions. In Proceedings of HICCS-36 2003, Hawaii.

Farnham, S. D., (2002). Predicting active participation in MSN communities. It’s all in the conversation. Microsoft Technical Report MSR-TR-2002-36.

Farnham, S. D., (2007). Art in the age of social participation on the mega scale: Using crowdsourcing for your projects. ONSCREEN Magazine, May 2007, 911 Media Arts.

Farnham, S. D., (2008). The Facebook application ecosystem: Why some thrive – and most don’t. An O’Reilly Radar Report, March 2008.

Farnham, S. D. & Churchill, E. F. (2010). Faceted identity, faceted lives: social and technical issues in being yourself online. Short paper In Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, 2010.

Farnham, S., Kelly, S.U., Portnoy, W., & Schwartz, J.L.K. (2004). Wallop: Designing social software for co-located social networks. In Proceedings of HICSS-37, 2004, Hawaii.

Farnham, S., McCarthy, J., Patel, Y., Ahuja, S., Norman, D., Hazlewood, W., Lind, J. (2009). Measuring the impact of place attachment on the adoption of a place-based community technology. In Proceedings of CHI 2009.

Farnham, S., Portnoy, W., Turski, A., Cheng, L., Vronay, D. (2003). Personal Map: Automatically modeling the user’s online social network. In Proceedings of Interact 2003, Switzerland, July 2003.

Farnham, S., Cheng, L., Stone, L., Zaner-Godsey, M., Hibbeln, C, Syrjala, K., Clark, A., & Abrams, J. (2002). HutchWorld: Clinical study of computer-mediated social support for cancer patients and their caregivers. In Proceedings of CHI 2002, Minneapolis,April 2002.

Farnham, S. D., Chesley, H. McGhee, D., & Kawal, R. (2000). Structured on-line interactions: Improving the decision-making of small discussion groups. In Proceedings of CSCW 2000, Philadelphia, December, 2000.

Farnham, S. D. & Churchill, E. F. (2011). Faceted identity, faceted lives: Social and technical issues in being yourself online. In Proceedings of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2011.

Farnham, S.D., Keyani, P. (2006). Swarm: Hyper awareness, hyper coordination, and smart convergence through mobile group text messaging. In Proceedings of HICSS-39, 2006, Hawaii.

Farnham, S. Kirkpatrick, R., Pedersen, E. (2006). Observation of Katrina/Rita deployment: Addressing social and communication challenges of ephemeral groups. In Proceedings of ISCRAM 2006, Newark, New Jersey.

Farnham, S., Schwartz, J., Brown, P. (2009). Leveraging social software for strategic social networking and community development at events. In Communities and Technologies 2009.

Farnham, S.D, Zaner, M., Cheng, L. (2001). Designing for sociability in shared browsers. In Proceedings of Interact 2001, Tokyo, July 2001.

Farnham, S., Zaner-Godsey, M., S. Cheng, L., Stone, L., & Clark, A. M. (2001). Hutchworld: computer-mediated social support for hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients and their caregivers. In Proceedings of Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 2001, San Jose, January 2001.

Jensen, C., Davis, J., & Farnham, S. (2002). Finding others online: Reputation systems for social online spaces. In Proceedings of CHI 2002, Minneapolis, April 2002.

Jensen, C., Farnham, S., Drucker, S., & Kollock, P. (2000). The effect of communication modality on cooperation in online environments. In Proceedings of CHI 2000, The Hague, Netherlands March 2000.

Kelly, S., Sung, C., & Farnham S. (2002). Designing for improved social responsibility and content in on-line communities. In Proceedings of CHI 2002, Minneapolis, April 2002.

Keyani, P., & Farnham, S. D., (2005). Swarm: Text messaging designed to enhance social coordination. In Harper, R., Palen, L., Taylor, A. (Eds.) The Inside Text: Social, Cultural, and Design Perspectives on SMS.

LeeTiernan, S., Farnham, S., & Cheng, L. (2003). Two methods for organizing personal web history. In Extended Abstracts of CHI 2003, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

McCarthy, J., Farnham, S., Patel, Y., et al. (2009). Supporting community in third places with situated social software. In Communities and Technologies, 2009.

Ozenc. K. & Farnham, S. (2011). Life modes in social media. In Proceedings of CHI 2011.

Riegelsberger, J., Counts, S., Farnham, S.D. Philips, B. C. (2007). Personality matters: Incorporating detailed user attributes and preferences into the natchmaking process. In Proceedings of HICSS, 2007.

Riegelsberger, J., Counts, S., Farnham, S, Philips, B. C. (2006). Sounds good to me: effects of photo and voice profiles on gaming partner choice, in Proc. 20th Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2006.

Smith, M., Farnham, S., & Drucker S. (2000). The social life of small graphical chat spaces. In Proceedings of CHI 2000, The Hague, Netherlands March 2000. Reprinted in R. Schroeder (Ed.) The Social Life of Avatars: Presence and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments. Springer: London. 2002.

Williams, A., Farnham, S., & Counts, S. (2006). Exploring wearable ambient displays for social awareness. In Extended Abstracts of CHI 2006, Florida, April 2006.

See her full CV  for a complete list of papers.