Judith Stefania Donath (born May 7, 1962) is a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center, and the founder of the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Lab. She has written papers on various aspects of the Internet and its social impact, such as Internet society and community, interfaces, virtual identity issues, and other forms of collaboration that have become manifest with the advent of connected computing.
Judith Donath giving a talk at the EPFL, on June 22, 2009
|Born||May 7, 1962|
|Known for||Educational software designer and builder, Social media research, Virtual world architect|
|Fields||Media Arts, Human–computer interaction, History|
|Thesis||Inhabiting the virtual city: The design of social environments for electronic communities (1997)|
|Doctoral advisor||Andrew B. Lippman|
She combines concepts from evolutionary biology, architecture, ethnography, cognitive science, and various other disciplines, to develop methodologies for optimizing the design of mediated virtual cities on the internet and online virtual identities.
She is a pioneer of online social media applications, including the first postcard application and the first interactive art show competition. Her work has been shown internationally in museums and galleries and recently at the MIT Museum as a major exhibit.
Her research work includes issues centered on "identity and deception in online communities" and the creation of multiple virtual personae. In 1999 she researched the presence of deception in the online identities of Usenet users, as well as the reconstruction of the personality of an individual using data gathered from both online and offline encounters.
Donath obtained her Bachelor's degree in History from Yale and her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT. Her work includes the design and development of educational software and experimental media.
On October 10, 1995, while still a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, she helped organize a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the MIT Media Lab by conceiving a mass online collaboration project which featured the construction of a large website by worldwide contributors. The event was named A Day in the Life of Cyberspace and is an early example of mass collaboration on the Internet.
Her pioneering work includes the first postcard service, named The Electric Postcard, and the first interactive art show, titled Portraits in Cyberspace.
In her 2000 book Being Real, Donath explores the problems of cognition arising from the online behavioral dynamics of the interaction between human and possibly automated avatars in a virtual world.
She has investigated the effect of online social media on society as regards the public display of the social interconnections between the members of the online communities as a sort of "Public Displays of Connection". Her work on sociable media has applications in the field of semiotics.
On the subject of telerobotics, Donath argues that the remote manipulation afforded by the discipline may act as a desensitizing agent because the identity and human characteristics of the remote subjects of the telerobotic operation remain unseen by the human teleoperator of the robot. She has also researched the ethnography of online communities.
She has investigated best practices for online communication and their relation to issues of embodiment, gender, sexuality and identity.
Donath has explored the use of artificial emotions in avatars and their potential use in online advertising. She predicts that artificial avatars will possess "suites of emotions" comparable to an emotional wardrobe, from which they can pick the emotion they need to "wear", depending on the circumstances. That way they can be used in advertising campaigns to target their intended audience more effectively.
In her essay "Mediated Faces" she analyzes the role of facial representation and interpretation in an online communication environment, suggesting that there are wider possibilities for online facial representation through the use of computer-enhanced environments than a simple linear pictorial representation of the human face.
- "Judith Donath". The Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Harvard University. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- Marcus Foth; Laura Forlano; Christine Satchell; Martin Gibbs (December 21, 2011). From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen: Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement. MIT Press. p. 499. ISBN 978-0-262-01651-3. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- "Judith Stefania Donath CV" (PDF). Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- Donath, Judith. "Judith Donath". smg.media.mit.edu.
- Lam, Francis. "Sociable Media Group - MIT Media Lab". smg.media.mit.edu.
- Marc A. Smith (February 10, 1999). Communities in Cyberspace. Taylor & Francis. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-415-19140-1. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Paul Basu (April 15, 2006). Highland Homecomings Genealogy and Heritage Tourism in the Scottish Diaspora. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-84472-128-3. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Gunnar Liestøl; Andrew Morrison; Terje Rasmussen (September 1, 2004). Digital Media Revisited: Theoretical and Conceptual Innovations in Digital Domains. MIT Press. p. 538. ISBN 978-0-262-62192-2. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Mark Poster (August 9, 2006). Information Please: Culture and Politics in the Age of Digital Machines. Duke University Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-8223-3839-0. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Natasha Whiteman (January 6, 2012). Undoing Ethics: Rethinking Practice in Online Research. Springer. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-4614-1826-9. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Carl Malamud (August 8, 1997). A World's Fair for the Global Village. Carl Malamud. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-262-13338-8. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- "Judith Donath on Microsoft Research Social Computing Symposium". Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- Sabine Payr; Robert Trappl (June 11, 2004). Agent Culture: Human-agent interaction in A Multicultural World. Taylor & Francis. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8058-4808-3. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Paola Antonelli (March 1, 2008). Design and the Elastic Mind. The Museum of Modern Art. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-87070-732-2. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Donath, J; d boyd (October 2004). "Public displays of connection" (pdf). BT Technology Journal. 22 (4): 71–82. doi:10.1023/B:BTTJ.0000047585.06264.cc. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
- Donald A. Norman (October 31, 2010). Living with Complexity. MIT Press. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-262-01486-1. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Ken Goldberg (October 1, 2001). The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet. MIT Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-262-57154-8. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Tom Boellstorff (April 7, 2010). Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human. Princeton University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-691-14627-0. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Richard A. Bartle (2004). Designing Virtual Worlds. New Riders. p. 484. ISBN 978-0-13-101816-7. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Mia Consalvo; Charles Ess (May 3, 2011). The Handbook of Internet Studies. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-1-4051-8588-2. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
- Mark Stephen Meadows (December 28, 2007). I, Avatar: The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life. New Riders. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-321-53339-5. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Kelly Gates (February 23, 2011). Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance. NYU Press. pp. 264–265. ISBN 978-0-8147-3209-0. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
- U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News Publishing Corporation. 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
- Wilson, Chris (June 10, 2007). "Taming Internet Flamers and Attracting Adults to Boot New user sites find ways to add civility to the cacophony". US News & World Report. Archived from the original on June 13, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
The anonymity [of flaming] is the same as anonymity of vandalizing in real life," says Judith Donath, an associate professor at the Media Laboratory at MIT. The Net just makes it easier to do.
- "Proceedings:JD1 - Wikimania". wikimania2006.wikimedia.org.
- "Berkman Center Announces 2013-2014 Community". Berkman Center for Internet & Society. July 8, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013.