Will this post go viral?

Not likely.

The spread of ideas and purchases is often assumed to be viral. Statistics from Facebook, twitter, and yahoo were collected and considered in a paper discussed here: http://messymatters.com/2011/07/31/viral/ which seems to suggest that social network effects for the most part are unimportant.

“The vast majority of adoptions occur either without peer-to-peer influence or within one step of an independent adopter,” as shown in this diagram:

“…the dominant diffusion event, accounting for between 70% to 95% of cascades, is the trivial one: an individual adopts the product in question and doesn’t convert any of their contacts. The next most common event, again in all six domains, is an independent adopter who attracts a single additional adopter. In fact, across domains only 1%-4% of diffusion trees extend beyond one degree.”

The first thought I had was that a small number of chains might be enormous, and hence there are dominant viral effects, but apparently that is not so (only 1-6% of adoptions were found to have occured more than one level away from the initiator).


4 Responses to Will this post go viral?

  1. Pingback: Darkcult: A blog that can be read by only person at a time. « The Big Cascade

  2. shaolinsybarite says:

    Sort of makes you wonder why we bother, eh? We think we’re talking to the world, and we’re really just putting messages into bottles…it made me think about something utterly impractical…http://shaolinsybarite.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/darkcult-a-blog-that-can-be-read-by-only-person-at-a-time/
    I like your unique approach to numbers, especially as I’m a non-mathematican, and I’ll be coming back to your site. I linked to this piece on my blog.
    All the best


  3. Pingback: How long is a new link clicked on? « Marc Gawley

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