grow like ivy
i first heard of marc smith when i read howard rheingold's the virtual community in 1993, the book that made me want to study cyberculture. i first met marc when howard introduced us at a computer professionals for social responsibility conference in seattle back in 2000. and since 2001, the year i arrived in seattle, marc's been a good friend and colleague.
marc is many things. he is a sociologist who focuses on computer-mediated collective action. he is the lead of the community technologies group at microsoft research. he is the person behind netscan. he is a husband and a father. he is also one of the smartest humans i know.
marc has the uncommon ability to think about microscopic details and massive overviews - simultaneously. over the years, marc and i have had many long conversations (two, three, four, five hour conversations) about networks, how they develop, how they die, how they can - and do - grow like ivy across the world. his mind is always working and he generates new ideas very, very quickly.
this picture was taken a month ago when we were in los angeles for a brainstorming session convened by usc. having endured months (four? five? six?) of rain in seattle, both of us were quite happy to see and feel the sun. more pictures (including one with my good buddy nancy baym!) here.
update: it sure was fun seeing marc smith in san francisco last week.