Study: Twitter’s Early Growth Relied On Geographic Proximity

first_imgRelated Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Each circle represents a U.S. city containing Twitter users. Circles grow in size as more users sign up in that location over time. When a location has reached a “critical mass” of users, or 13.5% of all eventual users have signed up, the location turns red. The line being drawn across the center of the screen is a time series of the number of new users that signed up across the whole country in a given week. The takeaway from an MIT study released Wednesday, tracking the early growth of Twitter, is that new Web technologies – particularly social networks that rely on adoption by other users – cannot depend solely on online buzz (or even Ashton Kutcher, for that matter).The study tracked data from 2006 to 2009 in the 408 U.S. cities with the highest rates of Twitter adoption. The findings clearly demonstrate that mainstream media mentions, coupled with the geographic and socioeconomic proximity of users, fueled its growth. A video mapping the data shows initial growth in San Francisco, where Twitter is based, then spreading to Boston.While the data is dated by Internet standards, the study does challenge the notion that the Internet has allowed social networks to ignore traditional geographic and socioeconomic boundaries.While the data is dated by Internet standards, the study does challenge the notion that the Internet has allowed social networks to ignore traditional geographic and socioeconomic boundaries.“The big question for people in industry is ‘How do we find the right person or hub to adopt our new app so that it will go viral?’ But we found that the lone tech-savvy person can’t do it; this also requires word of mouth. The social network needs geographical proximity,” said Marta González, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering systems at MIT, in a statement. “In the U.S. anyway, space and similarity matter.”While the MIT study only looked at Twitter, the broader implications are clear. From an economist’s view, the current period of free apps and Web services gives them a chance to look at why some succeed and others do not. The MIT study could also theoretically be used to understand the growth of more recent social success stories like Instagram and Spotify.“Nobody has ever really looked at the diffusion among innovators of a no-risk, free or low-cost product that’s only useful if other people join you. It’s a new paradigm in economics: what to do with all these new things that are free and easy to share,” said MIT graduate student Jameson Toole, a co-author of the paper. The study was also novel in that it did not keep mainstream media mentions as a constant, but instead tried to track when the media responded to user mentions and vice versa. The study, and the video, covers through April 2009, when Kutcher challenged CNN to see who would become the first to reach one million followers, bringing Twitter decidedly into the mainstream. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#twitter#web dave copeland A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Inside IT: Evaluating McAfee Deep Defender

first_imgThe evolution of threats to the security of the enterprise has driven innovation in how that enterprise defends itself. New tools need to be developed to meet today’s threat landscape. McAfee has introduced such a tool, Deep Defender. It’s designed to detect kernel-based attacks that other traditional software security solutions would miss. In this podcast we talk with Intel IT Security Specialist Greg Bassett and Project Manager Stephanie Mahvi as they discuss the pilot study the company conducted to evaluate McAfee Deep Defender for the enterprise.last_img read more

Scientists create largest map of brain connections to date

first_imgThis tangle of wiry filaments is not a bird’s nest or a root system. Instead, it’s the largest map to date of the connections between brain cells—in this case, about 200 from a mouse’s visual cortex. To map the roughly 1300 connections, or synapses, between the cells, researchers used an electron microscope to take millions of nanoscopic pictures from a speck of tissue not much bigger than a dust mite, carved into nearly 3700 slices. Then, teams of “annotators” traced the spindly projections of the synapses, digitally stitching stacked slices together to form the 3D map. The completed map reveals some interesting clues about how the mouse brain is wired: Neurons that respond to similar visual stimuli, such as vertical or horizontal bars, are more likely to be connected to one another than to neurons that carry out different functions, the scientists report online today in Nature. (In the image above, some neurons are color-coded according to their sensitivity to various line orientations.) Ultimately, by speeding up and automating the process of mapping such networks in both mouse and human brain tissue, researchers hope to learn how the brain’s structure enables us to sense, remember, think, and feel.last_img read more

Lalit Modi’s RCA terms its suspension by BCCI arbitrary

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India has suspended the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) whose new body has been just elected with Lalit Modi as its president on Tuesday.Lalit Modi defeated his opponent Rampal Sharma by a landslide margin of 26-7.Mehmood Abidi, newly-elected vice president, has termed it suspension arbitrary and questioned fairness of acting BCCI president Shivlal Yadav.”We expected a fair decision from him but he has acted like a stooge of N. Srinivasan, harming RCA like never before,” Abidi told India Today.”You may suspend an individual member but suspending an entire state association is ridiculous,” he said, but added that he was yet to see the notice of suspension.Lalit Modi is expected to address his team through video conference in the afternoon as he returns as president of RCA, five years after he lost in March 2009.He said through his victory in RCA , he wanted to prove a point to N.Srinivasan.Will Modi return to India?His return to India will be easier if a BJP government comes to power despite senior leader Arun Jaitley known to be against him in BCCI.Modi’s passport remains impounded but cases against him are expected to be diluted.Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had been instrumental in his rise but this time, she will help him while keeping him away from her administration.Modi was accused of interfering in her administration by Congress leader Ashok Gehlot during her previous tenure between 2003 and 2008, an allegation never substantiated.advertisementThis was in strong contrast to when then Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot ordered police to hound Modi on RCA premises, threaten him with arrest and encouraged his opponents who lodged a series of cases against him and involved the entire state machinery to ensure that Modi lost.Modi lost to Sanjay Dixit in March but Gehlot got re-elections held in December as his close aide Shiv Charan  Mali, RCA general secretary, could not get along with Modi. Modi again lost, this time to CP Joshi, then union minister and present AICC general secretary.Modi’s fortune to rise againElection of the 24-member Modi team was a foregone conclusion. Abidi and Amin Pathan, both close aides of Modi, have been elected as the vice president and Somendra Tiwari as secretary.So was the foregone conclusion about the BCCI threat to act against RCA if Modi, expelled for life, was elected chief.  RCA says it will move court against the BCCI  suspension orders on grounds that its elections were under the Rajasthan Sports Act and not governed by BCCI’s orders.The BCCI has already stopped most of its financial grant to the RCA. Despite the suspension,  the victory marks a change for better in Modi’s fortune, whose emergence in Indian cricket had started with his becoming RCA chief in 2004, ending the regime of the Rungta family.The elections were held on December 19 in an extreme peaceful atmosphere with Raje as the chief minister.For Modi, it is a long legal battle ahead before he gets actively into BCCI affairs. Modi, in the small period of less than five years, made Rajasthan a name on the international scene by improving facilities to world class level, something that was never even attempted earlier.He had the backing of then Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje , whose defeat in 2008 also expedited Modi’s decline. Raje wanted to show that things in sports could be improved quickly and through Modi, succeeded in proving that.Modi went further and floated the Indian Premier league and launched a cricket team named after Rajasthan, Rajasthan Royals.However, his rise and flamboyant style led to some vested interests in Rajasthan turning against him.His staying away from India and Rajasthan has exposed all those who thought they could match what Modi did.last_img read more