blogspace-draft - Implicit Structure and the Dynamics of...

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Implicit Structure and the Dynamics of Blogspace Eytan Adar Li Zhang Lada A. Adamic Rajan M. Lukose HP Information Dynamics Lab Abstract Weblogs link together in a complex structure through which new ideas and discourse can flow. Such a structure is ideal for the study of the propagation of information. In this paper we describe general categories of information epidemics and create a tool to infer and visualize the paths specific infections take through the network. This inference is based in part on a novel utilization of data describing historical, repeating patterns of infection. We conclude with a description of a new ranking algorithm, iRank, for blogs. In contrast to traditional ranking strategies, iRank acts on the implicit link structure to find those blogs that initiate these epidemics. General Terms Measurement, Experimentation, Algorithm Keywords Weblog, information flow, implicit link, ranking 1. Introduction As new tools such as weblogs (or blogs for short) and wikis have taken hold, the WWW is being transformed. While website creation has been traditionally the domain of the technically oriented, blog software is allowing many more users to generate web content to be consumed by groups, both large and small. The ease of generating such content has caused certain functions traditionally reserved for e-mail and instant messaging to be shifted to the WWW. A significant use of blogs is as a publicly exposed, online diary describing both real-world and web based experiences. Bloggers frequently read each other&s postings, and the phenomenon of listing and commenting on information found through a user&s online exploration is common. These posts and comments are intended to relay the latest interesting, humorous, or thought- provoking information the user has run across. This information is added to the blog with the full realization by, or hope of, the author that it will be read by others. In this way the web, through blogs, becomes a medium for rapid transfer of memes [6]. A humorous example is the Giant Microbes website which sells stuffed toys in the form of common diseases. Being the first to find or comment on the latest and newest is of clear importance to blog authors as it leads to increased readership and linking, and improving the author&s status in the so-called blogspace . Many new services have begun to take advantage of this competition to detect network buzz, e.g. www.blogdex.net, www.technorati.com,www.blogpulse.com, as well as assign value to individual blog, e.g. www.blogshares.com. However, despite the utility of such applications for finding the latest information very little attention has been paid to its spread. In this paper, we study the pattern and dynamics of information spreading in blogspace. We consider both the large scale aspects of spreading patterns as well as how a specific, individual link may be tracked in blog networks. Our study is enabled by the blog data that is crawled on a daily basis. In our
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This note was uploaded on 12/08/2011 for the course CS 525 taught by Professor Gupta during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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blogspace-draft - Implicit Structure and the Dynamics of...

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