Social Media Group @ MIT
check out this MIT entity: http://smg.media.mit.edu/people.html
they look like an interesting bunch of people, even if they only focus on one aspect of the online world. i like the "webbed footnotes" project.
somewhat related to this subject--i think the existence of groups just like this one suggest a course of action for our tech development: open sourcing the code... ok, the downside to this is clearly that it takes more time to write code that is suitable for sharing. but a benefit would be that IF a project like the "superdatabase + programs that run off it" (formerly known as social scholar) takes off, we could benefit from collaboration from outside our small group. why would we want all the responsibility of writing the suite of programs that would take advantage of such a database if we could benefit from outsiders' improvements on our work? i think there is HUGE momentum in this direction... it will be one of the best ways to be a "player" in the educational software market in the near future (and even if we don't benefit financially from the software, TC as an institution stands to gain a lot).
the analogy to be made for my group would be as follows: we should turn our attention to making informational/research products that can trade in a similarly collaborative environment. i want to echo my previous claim that this would be one of the best ways to be a player in this business. i have some ideas for such products that i will outline in the near future... but one on the horizon is the Gottesman Libraries DVD (Summer '05). the challenge for us is to make this product in a way that makes it not just a product suited for advertising/broadcasting, but an educational tool.