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Marc Smith
Community Technologies Group - Microsoft Research
Project Description:
Usenet provides a fascinating sociological case study of online interaction for Marc Smith. As one of the most interesting social cyberspaces that have emerged through the Internet, Usenet is a place where cooperation should be hard, but cooperation happens there anyway and with an abundance and profusion that is remarkable.

Netscan provides a growing range of tools and visual interfaces to explore Usenet. Smith aims to provide interactive maps of Usenet to reveal just how successfully these 'newsgroups' really are, to see a kind of satellite photo of a large swath of a social cyberspace. Currently, Netscan provides three distinct visual interfaces, the Score Card, Cross Post and Dashboard visualizations, which are fully interactive and accessible through the Web. Behind these 'maps' is a significant data-crunching infrastructure with over a terabyte of disk storage to cope with the daily deluge of postings.

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