Mapping the Internet’s ‘Geography’

In case you didn’t know, muscle-car lovers have a thriving Internet community. The influential drivers of the muscle-car blogosphere stick to what they like; they mostly share links and thoughts about cars. For that reason, it’s unlikely that they’d ever interact with Twitter users who focus on environmental issues – in fact, the two groups live in entirely separate neighborhoods of the Internet.That may seem like a strange metaphor for the non-physical space of the Internet, but to John Kelly, the chief scientist at Morningside Analytics, it’s quite apt. He spends his days mapping the “cyber-social geography” of the Internet, anlayzing who is talking to whom and what they’re talking about. While many web analytics companies focus on the users who are most influential across the entire Internet, Kelly said, his data show who’s influential in small, specific communities. This helps uncover a few interesting trends about who really gets heard in the public sphere of the Internet.

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