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Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) 2009 Lecture Series on Digital Media Research and Innovation

January 15, 2009

KMDI at 13, Knowledge Media Design Institute’s 2009 Lecture Series in “Digital Media Research and Innovation at the University of Toronto”:


“Netting Together: Social Networks Meet Computer Networks” By Professor Barry Wellman

ABSTRACT: Evidence from the Connected Lives studied of East York and Chapleau show how the Internet and mobile phones are transforming relationships. In contrast to the group-centered world of yore, spouses, friends, relatives and coworkers connect together in loosely-bounded, sparsely-knit social networks in which offline and online connectivity are intertwined.

BIOGRAPHY: Sociologist Barry Wellman directs NetLab at the University of Toronto, a team studying the intersection of online and offline networks—social, communication and computer—in communities and at work. Wellman learned to keypunch as a Harvard graduate student in 1964, and he hasn’t stopped playing with computers since. He’s written more than 200 papers with more than 80 co-authors, and he’s the (co-)editor of _Social Structures: A Network Approach_(1988);_Networks in the Global Village_(1999), and_The Internet in Everyday Life_(2002). Wellman is the S.D.Clark Professor of Sociology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He founded the International Network for Social Network Analysis 1976, and he has won lifetime achievement awards for the study of community, the internet and society.

“Spending Together: Commerce in a Socially Networked World by Professor Mark Fox

ABSTRACT: Without a doubt, the web has changed how we conduct commerce. Within the span of a decade, US consumer online retail sales has grown from millions to over $200 billion. Have we experienced a retailing revolution or just the technical evolution of catalog retailing introduced by Richard Sears in 1887? Some believe the advent of social networking will revolutionize our paradigm of retailing. This presentation will explore how social networking is transforming retailing today and the possibilities for the future. Is it a revolution? We’ll let your avatar decide.

BIOGRAPHY: Mark Fox splits his time between being a Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto where his research has focused on Ontologies for Enterprise Modeling and Constraint-Directed Reasoning in Manufacturing & Logistics, and being the CEO of Novator Systems a provider of online retailing software and solutions since 1994.

MODERATOR BIO: Jeremy Birnholtz is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and the Faculty of Computing and Information Science at Cornell University. He also holds an appointment in the Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto, where he continues work on the NECTAR project that he began as a postdoc. Jeremy received his Ph. D. from the School of Information at the University of Michigan in 2005, and is interested in improving the usefulness and usability of collaboration technologies through a focus on human attention; and in the intersections of social science theory and technology design. He uses both laboratory and field methods and has conducted field research in a diverse range of settings.

The talk will be webcast live & an archive will be available.  Instructions to view the webcast:

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