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IBM opens 'social software' development center

Based in Cambridge, Mass., it's designed as a research hub for everything from cloud computing to social search.


Longtime tech mainstay IBM has announced the creation of a Cambridge, Mass.-based research center for the development of "social software," from consumer Web apps to enterprise communication tools. At its launch, researchers from Dow Jones and Thomson Reuters' health care division have agreed to be "corporate residents" in the facility.

The IBM Center for Social Software, according to a release, will take on the lofty task of "creat(ing) a new type of collaborative environment to tackle some of the toughest questions about social software, identify new business models, help discover next-generation Web 2.0 applications, and determine how and why people form viral communities and the implications they have on our daily lives."

IBM plans to collaborate with government agencies, businesses, universities, and other research institutions, and the venture capital community on future Center for Social Software projects. Partners can send employees to the facility to work with IBM's researchers on anything from internal networks at businesses to social search and discovery or cloud computing.

"Center for Social Software is a channel for the social computing community and our customers to collaborate on the most innovative social technologies being developed today," IBM fellow and Irene Greif, who will serve as the facility's director, said in a release Wednesday. "We view the center as a magnet for the top social computing scientists around the world to visit, share work and innovate."