Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Warning: Blogs Can Be Infectious: "The most-read webloggers aren't necessarily the ones with the most original ideas, say researchers at Hewlett-Packard Labs.

"Using newly developed techniques for graphing the flow of information between blogs, the researchers have discovered that authors of popular blog sites regularly borrow topics from lesser-known bloggers—and they often do so without attribution.

"These findings are important to sociologists who are interested in learning how ideas grow from isolated topics into full-blown epidemics that 'infect' large populations. Such an understanding is also important to marketers, who hope to be able to pitch products and ideas directly to the most influential people in a given group.

"'There is a lot of speculation that really important people are highly connected, but really, we wonder if the highly connected people just listen to the important people,' said Lada Adamic, one of the four researchers working on the project."

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