The Social Media Collective (SMC) is a network of social science and humanistic researchers, part of the Microsoft Research labs in New England and New York. It includes full-time researchers, postdocs, interns, and visitors. Beginning in 2009, the researchers who now lead the initiative are: Nancy Baym, danah boyd, Kate Crawford, Tarleton Gillespie, and Mary Gray. Our primary purpose is to provide rich contextual understanding of the social and cultural dynamics that underpin social media technologies. We use a variety of methodologies and span multiple disciplines.