By lskrocki on May 10, 2007
A sociologist could be of great value in helping tech companies build a social platform that is conducive to meeting the needs of a crowd as well as ensuring a company effectively contributes to and helps build whatever community it is they wish to be a part of.
Per the CNET article:
"Duncan Watts, professor of sociology at Columbia University, where he was director of the Collective Dynamics Group, and author of Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age, will lead Yahoo's research in human social dynamics, including social networks and collaborative problem solving.Smart move indeed, IMHO.
Watts said his areas of interest include "trying to understand how social networks and communities evolve over time, how people influence each others' behavior and how people find things that are useful."
Having researchers who aren't focused on computer science will not only help Yahoo improve its product and service development, but could lead to advances in the development of technologies underlying the Internet, said Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo Research."