World Transformation: How Memes Spread Online
 How Memes Spread Online
picture 1 Jun 2004 @ 11:41, by ming

From WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: As Laurie Anderson once said, language is a virus. So are ideas. Researchers at HP have been trying to understand how ideas spread through the online blog community, and for those of us who're interested in getting ideas out into the world, it may be instructive. From a Wired article on them:

"What we're finding is that the important people on the Web are not necessarily the people with the most explicit links (back to their sites), but the people who cause epidemics in blog networks," said researcher Eytan Adar. These infectious people can be hard to find because they do not always receive attribution for being the first to point to an interesting idea or news item...

The researchers have incorporated their techniques into a search algorithm they call iRank. Unlike Google's PageRank algorithm, which ranks websites based on overall popularity, the iRank algorithm ranks sites based on how good they are at injecting ideas into the mainstream...

In the meantime, the team has made some of its research available online in the form of the Blog Epidemic Analyzer, a Java program that reveals the implicit and inferred links between blogs in an interactive, visual form. [note, however, it's not live: it only contains data for a 20-day period a year ago.]

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Other articles in
15 Jun 2004 @ 15:39: The Wisdom of Crowds
14 Jun 2004 @ 17:07: Peter Senge on awareness and environmental stewardship
10 Jun 2004 @ 23:59: How the digital revolution is reshaping the news
9 Jun 2004 @ 03:11: Lies And Technology

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