Microsoft researchers launch new hyper-local project with a Twitter connection

Microsoft researchers launch new hyper-local project with a Twitter connection

Summary: Researchers at Microsoft's FuSE Labs have launched a second project that investigates the intersection of hyper-local content and civic engagement.


Microsoft's FuSE Labs is adding a second research project to its roster that focuses on how hyper-local content can spur civic engagement.


On March 10, FuSE (Future Social Experiences) Labs took the wraps off its latest initiative, known as HereHere NYC. The site allows more than 40 New York City neighborhoods to generate opinions based on New York City's 311 non-emergency data stream. New York's 311 allows New Yorkers to voice concerns (and sometimes compliments) via phone, email or text messages. HereHere distills the information andgenerates cartoons and text that represent a "neighborhood’s characterized reactions," officials said.

Those interested can receive this stream of information by daily email digests, Twitter feeds and/or status updates on an online map.

Microsoft researchers demonstrated HereHere internally during the company's annual TechFest research fair in Redmond, Wash., last week. TechFest, Microsoft's science fair for its own research projects, was not open to the press this year, as it has been recently.

HereHere is FuSE's second research foray into the intersection of hyper-local content and civic engagement.

Last year, FuSE researchers went public with information about, a Web service that provides neighborhood-specific information based on hyper-local Twitter posts. Results from that service are visible at A Microsoft spokesperson said the project was unrelated to HereHere, despite the similarities between the two.

Speaking of Twitter and Microsoft Research, it looks like Microsoft ended up publicizing the results of the Twitter hashtag research in which it was engaged last year. The FuSE Labs team was investigating how people find answers on Twitter last year, using a bot known as AskyBot. The results of that research are available in this white paper, entitled "Is Anyone Out There? Unpacking Q&A Hashtags on Twitter."

Topics: Social Enterprise, Emerging Tech, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • The next big thing... data but not just raw data, aggregated data that is sorted, filtered, defined, etc for a billion uses. MS invest in Bing is not just an investment in a search engine, that is just the tip of the iceberg of both Bing and Google search. These are AI technologies that will be integrated into almost every tool these companies build.

    This is just another example of innovation of Microsoft that most people simply miss.
    Rann Xeroxx