Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Every social media guru thinks they have the secret to influence and virality. Me, I have my doubts. I am more inclined to believe that, in a network, there isn't a core influencer, as Duncan J. Watts argues. So how do these gurus find evidence of influence? They study what amounts to mass media - new York Times cover stories, say - and find in their network effects evidence of influence. But, of course, the influence is a vestige of the mass media being used to launch them in the first place. And as such, it is pernicious and nit helpful, just a way to allow the already-powerful to extend their power. But hey, where there's a guru there's always a secret sauce - can't have one without the other.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Jul 23, 2021 5:56 p.m.