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Word of mouth vs Social media

http://phys.org/news/2012-05-rumors-fast-social-networks.html\

 

Gone are the days where the only form of communication between people is by word of mouth. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are reshaping the way people take in information and in-turn pass that information.  I find it remarkable that social networks spread news so quickly with the structure of such networks creating the breeding ground for the fast transport of information. With over 1.2 billion users spanning the globe, Facebook is a prime example of the light speed transfer of information. The networks posted below are of direct communication and Facebook respectively.

 

 

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A network is a group or system of interconnected people or things; with the social aspect of the network being about social interactions and personal relationships. The difference of complexity is one explanation of why information travels so quickly on social media. With more nodes (people) available and single node being connected by many edges (friendships), the spread of information is bound to drastically increase. Person “c” no longer has to wait for person “B” to talk to them.  Another concept that can aid in our understanding is that of weak and strong relationships. The spread of information is not hindered by whether the relationship between two nodes is strong or weak. Facebook’s news feed makes sure that no matter what relationship you have (granted you have to have one), you still receive information. Unlike present social networks, word of mouth is very likely to be hindered by relationship. The strong relationship between two people will catalyze the spread of information, while a weak relationship could hinder it.

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