Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cost-effective Outbreak Detection

A student project at Carnegie Mellon University tried to answer the question of how information disseminates through the blogosphere. The study tracked 45,000 blogs and then ranked them based on the flow of information. The idea is that if you read certain key nodes in the blogosphere, you can have a pretty good idea of what is under discussion on other blogs. A few weeks ago, the first tier was announced with some fanfare. It appears that the rest of the data was published this week. A DC Birding Blog placed near the top of the second tier.

So if you want to know what is happening on the internet, you are better off reading A DC Birding Blog than Reason, The New Yorker, or the website of the Republican National Committee. Somehow, though, it does not seem right that this blog would be 200 places ahead of Pharyngula.