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.
The TSF houses the world's most powerful supercomputers. And they are constantly building and acquiring the newest, fastest supercomputer in the world.
Earlier this year, TSF has already installed Dawn, a 500 TeraFLOPS initial delivery system of the Sequoia. Sequoia is the next generation Blue Gene supercomputer capable of computing at 20 PetaFLOPS, and it will be delivered early 2011. Scientists believe that at this rate, supercomputers will be powerful enough to simulate human brain function by 2013 and full-brain neuronal simulation would become possible by 2025.
The workshop was organized by Martha Russell (Associate Director of Media X) and Marc Smith (Chief Social Scientist of Telligent), and consists of panel discussions from industry leaders, various talks, and hands-on tutorial sessions. I was very privileged to be invited by Martha Russell to give a talk on Measuring Social Media & Digital WOM. Besides giving my talk on CHI, and the mechanism and benefit of community word-of-mouth, I also learned a lot from the workshop. Since my days are still overwhelmingly busy, I've decided to write a short blog this week to share with you one of the most interesting metrics that I've learned.
Last week, I was at the C&T2009 meeting at Penn State University with our Chief Community Officer, Joe Cothrel. Although this meeting was rather relaxing for me, because I didn't have to present, I still can't believe it took me 12 hours to get there (9 hours of travel from SFO to State College connecting at DC, plus 3 hours lost from PST to EST). I stayed on campus at the Nittany Lion Inn that is a 5 minute walk to the IST building, the meeting venue location. I will not bother to recap the meeting, since a concise summary can be found in the conference program. However, one talk sparked some thoughts in my head that I'd like to share with you.
Have you ever experienced a time when you were so immersed in what you were doing that you forgot about your physical feelings and the passage of time? This highly-rewarding mental state is known as flow, and it is studied and characterized by a renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I had the great pleasure of hearing Prof. Csikszentmihalyi himself speak on this topic at the Persuasive2009 conference. The talk was enlightening and made me understand why I sometimes forgot to eat or sleep when deeply absorbed in solving a problem.
Couple weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a panel at the Persuasive2009 conference. The panel was on new metrics for engagement and I was to speak about the community health index (CHI). However, the audience was primarily social psychologists from both academia and industry. And all of them have a common interest in Persuasive technologies, which is defined by its inventor, Prof. B.J. Fogg, in his book to be any technology "that is designed to change attitudes or behaviors of the users through persuasion and social influence, but not through coercion." So, I was challenged with the task of relating CHI to engagement and persuasion. As a scientist, I did my homework. I read up on the most authoritative research papers in this field and came up with the following strategy.