Now Spanish researchers claim to have found a way to accurately predict how quickly and widely new pieces of information, or “memes” as they are called, will spread. The ability to forecast this “viral” behaviour would be of great interest to sociologists and marketeers, among others.
The secret, they say, is to recognise the fact that people vary in how “infectious” they are when it comes to sharing content online. While some people pass on things they receive right away, others do so after some delay, or not at all.
So here’s an article published on newscientists.com about internet memes and how some scientists are applying epidemiology to study memes. This left me entirely unimpressed and frankly a bit confused.
What are your thoughts on analogy between disease spreading (virus) and meme (cultural idea) spreading?