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Real Electronic Community - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

May. 18th, 2003

05:20 pm - Real Electronic Community

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I think when I grow up and become an anthropologist instead of a computer geek I want to study information flows through formal and informal communities and among "friends" on Live Journal. I love watching memes spread just from the perspective of my friends list and I bet it's even more interesting from some higher level global perspective.

Since I'm mainly interested in cognitive anthropology (the study of social cognition and how it is mediated by artifacts) I'd want to see what different strategies people use for choosing "friends". I'd like to see what different parts of the global "friends" map looks like. I'd like to see if there are different classes of users (e.g. people who mostly absorb content, people who mostly produce content, people who mainly serve as a bridge to pass memes from one community to another (these would be the people who post a lot of links in their journals to other journals). I'd like to see how these different classes interact. I'd like to see what kinds of memes spread quickly and which one's don't. I mean look at this, here's a centralized source of a HUGE amount of raw data about how people communicate with each other as a large group.

There's so much to study here! I want a grant, and a degree.

Comments:

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From:goytoy
Date:May 19th, 2003 07:05 am (UTC)
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That does sound interesting. I know wendywoowo has done some work on this sort of thing.

Personally, I want to know how otherwise sane, educated and intelligent people can be silly enough to send me all those Internet hoaxes.
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From:sirreal13
Date:May 19th, 2003 07:48 am (UTC)
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I put very little content up myself. I have very little "free" tiume so I usually just read what others have posted and sometimes share it in my LJ or to other forums.

It would be equally fascinating to trace the friendships to real life friendships and other on-line communities.

I havn't been getting e-mail confirmation lately, so if I seem incommunicative, I probably don't know it or I'm away for work, etc.
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From:marezcharz
Date:May 19th, 2003 11:52 pm (UTC)

It's BACON!!!!!!!!! Bacon, bacon, bacon!

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Dogs just don't know it's Beggin Strips.

I was just thinking about this earlier today. I am intrigued how people meet each other via the web. I was thinking how cool it was for someone to design the keyword relationships and how it can change a person, adding, adding, adding. I find myself spending another 2 hours after my 10 hour shifts searching thru LJ, learning new things. It's pure crack.

There's a definite 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon thing going on.

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0%2C1284%2C49343%2C00.html
http://www-distance.syr.edu/bacon.html

Growing up I never found people I could truly relate to. I remember the feeling when I went to college I finally met some folks I could relate to. I got an exponential increase from the web. I feel so lucky. What a great tool. (crack)
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