“Social relations are changing in a pretty big way. We are moving in a gradual form, but now accelerated by technology, from a social system that was built around small, tight-knit groups and big, bureaucratic hierarchies, to a new system that’s built around more loose-knit, more dispersed networks.”

Lee Rainie is the Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a non-profit, non–partisan “fact tank” that studies the social impact of the internet. The Project has issued more than 450 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives. All of its reports and datasets are available online for free at: http://www.pewinternet.org.

Lee is a co-author of Networked: The new social operating system with sociologist Barry Wellman about the social impact of the internet and cell phones. He is also co-author of five books about the future of the internet that are based on Project surveys about the subject.

Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, Lee was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report.

He tweets @lrainie.