The growth of social media and on-line social networks has opened up a set of fascinating new challenges and directions for the field of computing. Some of the basic issues around these developments are the design of information systems in the presence of complex social feedback effects, and the emergence of a growing research interface between computing and the social sciences.
In this talk, we will review two key sets of challenges that arise in designing and analyzing on-line social systems. The first is to understand how information flows through these systems, and how the behavior of individuals is affected by the behavior of their neighbors in the network. The second is to understand the subtle processes by which individuals on these systems evaluate and form opinions about each other, and the ways in which these evaluations create incentives that drive behavior.