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Industry Panel

Social Computing: Search, Community, and Commerce

Time: Saturday, May 12, 2007 (1:30pm-3:00pm)

Location: Theatre

Moderator: Mike Beltzner (Mozilla Foundation)



Social networking has graduated from being a Web 2.0 buzzword to being real. Some failed non-starters to some successful players Social networking sites have seen record growth. Over 200 social networking sites exist today based on various themes. Some of these companies have strong offerings and exponential growth in membership and revenue. Members of these online communities use each other for jobs, product and services, or other real life needs and wants.

In the research community, Social network analysis has been extensively studied in Sociometry and related fields for decades. Online Social network analysis has been a topic of interest from the static days of the web where static web pages represented approximations of social persona and links between pages represented relationships. With electronic commerce and marketplaces growing, user identity, user feedback, reputation, and circles of trust and friendship were more explicitly revealed and have been core areas for study. Social search, Social marketplaces, and Social computing, in general, have found their places of importance.

This panel will discuss the growth and opportunities for research, technology, and business in the areas of social computing. We will focus on search, community, and commerce as the main aspects. Within these, relevance, trust, security, and reputation will be addressed. The key questions that the panelists will address are: - What is state of the art for research and technology in the area of social networking? - What does the future of online social networks hold and what challenges and opportunities for research, technologies, and businesses lie ahead?

The answers will be addressed from different angles of search, commerce, and communication and cover various topics like applications, platforms, scalability, and user experience. The panel will address issues like relevance, trust, reputation, fraud, and incentives among others.