(22-Feb-11) Google has hired Ed Chi, a world-renowned expert in social media, as a research scientist specializing in human interaction.
Up until the end of January, Chi was a principal scientist of augmented social cognition at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), an institution for commercial innovation that works closely with global enterprises, entrepreneurs, and government agencies and partners. Chi was at PARC since 1999 and his most recent work included investigations into how users relate to Wikipedia, Delicious, and Twitter. He also holds 20 patents.
Tim Hickernell, senior analyst at Info-Tech Research Group, says it is likely that Chi was hired to enhance the company’s social media strategy, but says it is hard to definitively know for sure with Google’s unpredictable track record. “When they hire scientists at that level, they basically give them the ability to conduct research on a wide range of things that they want,” he says. “It’s possible that he was hired for a very specific agenda, but knowing Google, it is also quite possible that they will set him up with what he needs and let him run free.”