Lada Adamic, assistant professor at the University of Michigan, discusses the psychological impact of online social communication on individual behaviour. Information flow and information diffusion through the channels of online blogs, question and answer forums, and email communication on the Web can influence the choices we make.
For example political blogs today all seem to form a nice bar bell curve. The liberal blogs tend to link to other liberal blogs and conservative blogs link to the other conservatives. Even the A-list blogs, on the face of it, seem to cite one another. However, on a close inspection, the case is often not so. Even conversations that do not have a particular bias or slant, seem to form a cohesive information flow , lending the impression that participants are forming a closely knitted community.
Lada Adamic is an assistant professor in the School of Information. Her research interests center on information dynamics in networks: how information diffuses, how it can be found, and how it influences the evolution of a network's structure. She worked previously in Hewlett-Packard's Information Dynamics Lab on research projects relating to networks constructed from large data sets.
In 2001, she earned a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University, while doing research in the Internet Ecologies group at Xerox PARC. She also holds B.S. degrees in Physics, Engineering and Applied Science from Caltech.
This free podcast is from our Supernova series.