Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology
University of Southern California
Degree expected May, 2008
My dissertation--Communities of Innovation: Cyborganic and the Birth of Social Media--examines the way a group of San Francisco Web workers integrated new media and networked technologies into their work and lives during the first phase of the Web's development as a popular platform (1993-1999). The place and period of my fieldwork has turned out to be particularly seminal in terms of the rise of new social forms--from genres of networked media (e.g. homepages, mailing lists, intranets, blogs, open source software) to new modes of working and living associated with their development and use. Cyborganic was "an influential early Web community" whose members were on the launch teams of Wired magazine, Hotwired (the first ad-supported online magazine), c|net (a computer-focused transmedia network), and the Apache project. The genres, media, discourses, and cultural practices developed in this milieu were not only key to the initial development of Web publishing, but also prefigured the "Web 2.0" initiative for online collaboration, collective knowledge creation, and social networking (e.g. blogs, Wikipedia, Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, del.icio.us). Distinct, but hardly alone, Cyborganic is part of the larger cultural history of personal computing, computer networking, and telecommunities through which technoculture and counterculture coalesced in the Bay Area over the twentieth century.
Emerging Technologies Group
Institute for the Future
Menlo Park, CA
Consultant to the Outlook Project on Intranets and Telecommunity -- an ongoing research project on group oriented technologies and services, including: groupware, computer-supported collaboration, computer-supported cooperative work, new media, multimedia, Internet, and intranets. Co-designed and conducted a study of intranets in Fortune 500 companies, public institutions and private online communities. Led interview team and was a contributing author on "Creating the Corporate Commons: The Intersection of Intranets and Telecommunities".