report by engineers at Hewlett Packard tracked how news
travels through the Internet, growing from a single
article posted in an obscure Web log into a national
news story that garners major media attention. The
engineers constructed a diagram that maps how news items
start and travel up the Internet food chain.
practitioners who are interested in learning how ideas
grow from isolated topics into full-blown epidemics
"infecting" large populations can learn from this study.
Such an understanding is also important to marketers who
want to pitch products and ideas directly to the most
influential people in any given group.
to analyze a story’s “legs” can help your business
promote a positive story – or tell you how seriously to
be concerned about a negative report beginning to
benefit of this type of research is the ability to
determine which blogs will be most influential in
promoting future stories. For example, it may be easier
to place a story on a smaller blog that actually
influences a more widely read blog.
To view an
abstract of the researchers’ paper and get more