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Graham Hill


It is a tempting statistic driven by folklore about the 1/9/90 rule. But there is growing evidence that social networks can survive when some, maybe even quote a few of them are removed from the network.

Duncan Watts and others have shown that the take-up of sticky ideas on a social network are as much to do with the susceptibility of the network to such ideas, as to the actions of influentials spreading the ideas.

Here's my take on the research http://www.customerthink.com/blog/are_influencers_really_all_that_influential

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager

james governor

ummmm.... i am no joga expert but isnt it possible a spike during the world cup was exactly what Nike wanted?

James Cherkoff

Hi James, yes the spike was good but the cliff face fall-off leaving Nike with a similar size community to the one man Arseblog site was not. As you can see here...


Hi Graham, thanks for the article, I'll certainly take a look.

Peter Nixey


I found Duncan Watts' Six Degrees fascinating but I certainly didn't take it as debunking the 80:20 observation.

Watts noted that some networks were more resilient to change than others. His model was driven by to the number of nodes each network-node was connected to and the critical number of connections required to 'turn' a node.

I took Watts' main contribution as being the observation that the more susceptible the network was the easier that 'turning cascade' occurred. As you point out in your article, that susceptibility could well have been generated by broadcast media.

The Tipping Point simply highlighted the fact that in such a network, nodes which are highly connected are more consequential and influential than those that aren't. They're certainly not 'enough' though.

It doesn't seem to me that the two theories are at odds with each other - they simply address different aspects of virility.

Graham Hill

Peter, James

I suspect that we are all singing from the same songsheet.

Whilst we all recognise that early adopters and influncers (not the same thing) are critical for network growth, there are many other factors that drive networks too. Our understanding of social networks is clearly 'work-in-progress', but that hasn't stopped memes like that of the Influencer from taking on a life of their own.

My concern is that the well-rounded understanding of social networks and how they work - which we need to work through them more effectively - is in danger of being swamped by not so well-rounded quick fixes. The over-emphasis on Influencers as the be-all and end-all of social networks, at the expense of the message, network structure, message percolation, etc, is just one example of this.

I would like to hear your views on some of the other factors in effective social networks.

Here's my take on the evolving discussion at CRMGuru http://www.customerthink.com/blog/more_on_influencers

Graham Hill

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