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IBM Opens Center for Social Software

IBM has announced the creation of the IBM Center for Social Software, an incubator for the research, development, and testing of social software.

The goal of the Center is to create a new type of collaborative environment to tackle some of the toughest questions about social software, identify new business models, help discover next-generation Web 2.0 applications, and determine how and why people form viral communities and the implications they have on our daily lives.

Dow Jones and the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters are the first companies that intend to participate in the Center's Corporate Residency program. The goal of this program is to make IBM's expertise more accessible than ever before, giving businesses hands-on availability to IBM's research pipeline.

Selected participating organizations can send employees to the IBM Center to be matched with a team of IBM researchers to work on specific social computing projects, testing out new ideas and helping to solve key collaboration challenges within their organizations.

"The next generation of Web tools has the potential to significantly enhance our ability to understand and communicate what is happening to patients in the real world," said William Marder, senior vice president for research at the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. "Cost and quality of healthcare are complex issues that can benefit from social networking tools that help decision makers form a shared understanding of what the 'system' is doing and how to improve it."

Additionally, IBM intends to collaborate with members of the academic, scientific and biotechnology communities around the world. IBM intends to share the findings of the research with local universities and the IT community on the use of social software systems.

The goals of the facility are to:

  • Explore, innovate and commercialize best practices in social networking.
  • Work with forward-thinking businesses to pilot and customize enterprise social networks unique to their industry profile.
  • Create jointly funded research collaborations with government, academia, industry and venture capital participation.
  • Design the future of IBM's Web 2.0 collaboration portfolio, including social discovery, social search and new scalable architectures for social software including cloud computing.
  • Further social software governance: formal policies encouraging or constraining the uses of social networking in organizations.
  • Develop the science of social software: quantifying social networking.
  • Explore cultural differences in the use of social software.

"The Center for Social Software is a channel for the social computing community and our customers to collaborate on the most innovative social technologies being developed today," said Irene Greif, IBM Fellow and Director of the IBM Center for Social Software. "We view the center as a magnet for the top social computing scientists around the world to visit, share work and innovate."

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