This morning I was listening to a fascinating radio interview of a couple scientists that were devoted to the understanding of the animal behaviors such as swarming and flocking and its practical applications; in this specific case the practical applications were about how to apply such understanding of those behaviors to the production of algorithms that could be applied to robotic programming to result in adaptive and collaboration robotic behavior.
However listening to the conversation got me thinking, with all due respect, to the applications of these concepts to two areas that are very important for me today:
Online communities / Social Networking:
One of they key points I got out of this mornings radio interview was that there is always a way in which the information that affects the behavior of the group depends; and affecting the way this “transmission method” occurs has a considerable impact in the behavior.
What are the implications of this on the gestures we chose to enable in our social networking / media experiences? How do we chose to amplify/highlight them (most popular, recent, active?) How do we choose to aggregate them?
The economic crisis we are living and has recently affected me personally.
I do believe, with respect, we are behaving a little bit like a herd; and is likely the most sensible things. We all see how this crisis has affected so many, we slow down our own activity to save more, our slow down ends up affecting others which in turn reinforces the behavior again. I don’t envy the job of the person in charge of defusing this “stampede”.
We, Social Networking/Media practitioners and theorists, have a lot to gain by following academia and trying to connect the dots on these concepts and research and practical business applications. I will definitely continue to pay attention to what these researchers find and report.
What do you think?