10 February, 2007

The Wizards of Buzz :: Wall Street Journal

Link (paid subscription req.)

Extract:
The next time you visit a buzzy Web site, see a funny video clip online or read an unusual take on the news, chances are you owe it to someone like Mr. Worthington. A new generation of hidden influencers is taking root online, fueled by a growing love affair among Web sites with letting users vote on their favorite submissions. These sites are the next wave in the social-networking craze -- popularized by MySpace and Facebook. Digg is one of the most prominent of these sites, which are variously labeled social bookmarking or social news. Others include Reddit.com (recently purchased by Condé Nast), Del.icio.us (bought by Yahoo), Newsvine.com and StumbleUpon.com. Netscape relaunched last June with a similar format.
...
To find the key influencers, The Wall Street Journal analyzed more than 25,000 submissions across six major sites. With the help of Dapper, a company that designs software to track information published on the Web, this analysis sifted through snapshots of the sites' home pages every 30 minutes over three weeks. The data included which users posted the submissions and the number of votes each received from fellow users. We then contacted scores of individual users to find which ones are tracked by the wider community.
...
At Netscape.com, a single user named "STONERS" -- in real life, computer programmer Ed Southwood of Dayton, Ohio -- was behind fully 217 stories over the two-week period, or 13% of all stories that reached the most popular list. (Netscape, which gained fame with its namesake browser, is now owned by Time Warner's AOL unit and operates a news site.)

On Reddit, one of the most influential users is 12-year-old Adam Fuhrer. At his desktop computer in his parents' home in the quiet northern Toronto suburb of Thornhill, Mr. Fuhrer monitors more than 100 Web sites looking for news on criminal justice, software releases -- and the Toronto Maple Leafs, his favorite hockey team. When Microsoft launched its Vista operating system this year, he submitted stories that discussed its security flaws and price tag, which attracted approving votes from more than 500 users.

Besides an electric guitar and an iPod, "my favorite thing in the whole world is my computer," says Mr. Fuhrer, who has lately also been studying for his bar mitzvah in June. In spite of a content filter his parents use to block him from viewing certain sites (including YouTube), he has managed to consistently make it onto the list of Reddit's highest performers.

2 comments:

archer14 said...

gotta hand it to digg, reading comments from '12 year old kids in their basement' never gets old. Ever.

Blogger for peace said...

FYI - You can access Wall Street Journal articles for free with a netpass from: http://news.congoo.com

Andrew Tobias blogged about this last week, I thought it was a great tip!

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here