Jon Udell is an author, information architect, software developer, and new media innovator. His 1999 book, Practical Internet Groupware, helped lay the foundation for what we now call social software. Udell has been a software developer at Lotus, was BYTE Magazine's executive editor and Web maven, and has worked as an independent consultant.

A hands-on thinker, Udell's analysis of industry trends has always been informed by his own ongoing experiments with software, information architecture, and new media.

From 2002 to 2006 he was InfoWorld's lead analyst, author of the weekly Strategic Developer column, and blogger-in-chief. During his InfoWorld tenure he also produced a monthly series of screencasts about software, and a weekly series of audio interviews with innovators -- which now continues at ITConversations.

In January 2007 he joined Microsoft as a technical evangelist. In his new role he'll continue to explore and explain a broad portfolio of technologies, both inside and outside Microsoft. He aims to build bridges not only within the technical community but also, and crucially, across the chasm that divides elite technologists from everybody else.

We learn, teach, and work in an increasingly connected world. Computer and information sciences supply the raw connectivity. But it's people, interacting on networks, in information-rich contexts, who weave the fabric of knowledge and action. To empower them, we need to add a social dimension to our engineering practice.

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