Michael Wu, Ph.D. is Lithium's Principal Scientist of Analytics, digging into the complex dynamics of social interaction and group behavior in online communities and social networks.
Michael was voted a 2010 Influential Leader by CRM Magazine for his work on predictive social analytics and its application to Social CRM.He's a regular blogger on the Lithosphere's Building Community blog and previously wrote in the Analytic Science blog. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+.
Last Thursday, Lithium hosted a small dinner party to preview the new book “The Science of Social” with a few big thinkers in the industry. I’m very honored to meet so many people whom I respect so much all at once. I only regret that I didn’t have more time to talk to everyone who was there.
I had the opportunity to say a few words of thanks at the dinner. However, I didn’t have much time, both to prepare and to say everything that I wanted to say. With the weekend to reflect upon the past week, and a little more time to recollect the words in my mind, I decided to share these thanks with all of you.
A Few Words of Thanks at the Big Thinker’s Dinner
Good Evening Big Thinkers,
Thank you for coming to this small dinner party. Asides from taking the time to join us here tonight, I must also thank every one of you for something else. That is because I’ve learned so much from all of you. Whether it is reading articles you wrote, talking over the phone, chatting at conferences, or all the other forms of collaborations. I really have learnt a great deal from you all.
I knew nothing about social, and I was completely off the grid in terms of social media. I had no idea what Twitter was and I didn’t even know what CRM stands for. I thought it meant some Crazy Ridiculous Management system.
It is through all the great work that you produce that I was able to pick up this subject so quickly. All I did is provide a different perspective, and maybe, add a little scientific rigor to this complex subject.
I also wanted to thank Lithium for giving me the opportunity to do “real science.” After getting my PhD from UC Berkeley, I interviewed at quite a few places that offers me the “scientist” title and claim to have research departments. But when I talk to their scientists, I found the work they do is really an engineer’s work. I consider myself lucky to find Lithium, and I am truly fortunate to find a company that values real science and provides me the resources to pursue it.
This book is actually the fruit of collaboration between many extremely talented individuals at Lithium. I have a guilty conscience to be the one taking most of the credit here. But it really is a team work; everything from the editing, the graphics, the page layout, to the final printing of this book. In this highly interdependent world, we must learn to recognize that nothing is ever just one person’s doing.
Finally, I must thank my wife, Margie. You heard the adage that behind every successful man there is a successful woman. I would say that behind every scientist’s there is a very patient, loving, and tolerant women. That is, if there is a women at all. It’s not easy to be a scientist’s wife. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Margie about all the things she had to go through to put up a “scientific” argument with me.
Today, you are my giants! Everyone of you. That includes those from Lithium who helped me along the way, and of course Margie, who has always provided me with unconditional support. If I’ve seen further, it’s only because of all of you. Thank you big thinkers, thank you Lithium, and thank you Margie.
I am very fortunate to have the support of so many giants in my life. "The science of social" is a book based on my work. In a way, you can think of it as a compilation and a reorganization of my blog posts that have been published here over the years. In addition, the book includes many new data points and case studies that put the theories in context and into a more cohesive story.
It is not officially released yet. Lithium will be making some public announcement about this book very soon – stay tuned for more details.
Sorry for this little digression from big data analytics. I felt compel to share this more emotional (less analytical) side of my mind with you all. We will return to the subject of data reduction through analytics before you know it.