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The Connected Network

In today’s highly connected world, the spread of information through social networks can cause vast networks of people to be exposed to ideas that may prompt them to make decisions based on the decisions of others within their network. As others in the network adopt new ideas, members in the network may also adopt the new idea if a sufficient number of friends that they are linked to adopt the new idea. In this manner, a new idea can propagate through a network.

 This concept relates to current events such as the Occupy Wall Street movement since it has spread beyond Wall Street by social networks such as Facebook. The mechanism by which has worked is similar to the one discussed in class where there are dense networks of people situated in cities across the United States. Initially, some members in New York adopted a new idea to protest and this idea quickly spread to other members within their network since the members had a threshold where they were willing to adopt this new idea to go out and protest.

Due to the high interconnectivity of social networks and the high likelihood that members in one city have connections with members in other cities, this new idea to rally spread to networks in other cities by members who had multiple connections to members in New York City. Others connected to these members then passed a certain threshold where a certain number of their connections adopted this new idea and thus they themselves decided to adopt this new idea. In this way, what started out as a rally in New York City ended up spreading to other parts of the United States as well as the world.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204479504576635050542416050.html

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