Information Cascades in the Blogosphere: A Look Behind the Curtain
Keywords:information cascades, cascading behavior, information propagation, blogs, social media
With an increasing number of people that read, write and comment on blogs, the blogosphere has established itself as an essential medium of communication. A fundamental characteristic of the blogging activity is that bloggers often link to each other. The succession of linking behavior determines the way in which information propagates in the blogosphere, forming cascades. Analyzing cascades can be useful in various applications, such as providing insight of public opinion on various topics and developing better cascade models. This paper presents the results of an excessive study on cascading behavior in the blogosphere. Our objective is to present trends on the degree of engagement and reaction of bloggers in stories that become available in blogs under various parameters and constraints. To this end, we analyze cascades that are attributed to different population groups constrained by factors of gender, age, and continent. We also analyze how cascades differentiate depending on their subject. Our analysis is performed on one of the largest available datasets, including 30M active blogs and 700M posts. The study reveals large variations in the properties of cascades.