Tuesday, 9 February 2010

a conversation with ourselves

The last sentence of a recently-read article on the NYT Science pages reads:

"In fact, Dear Reader, you could consider this new study to be firm scientific evidence of your own awesomeness. And if you want to share that feeling with anyone, you know what to do next."

Indeed I do know what to do next, which is do what I always do and share.

Basically, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania compiled an awful lot of data regarding the habits of the NYT's readers (in how they pass on and share articles they read on the NYT) and found that people like to share:

a) good news: "Isn't this story about former teenage drug addicts turned urban gardeners uplifting?"
b) things that make them look awesome: “Perhaps this will amuse, although of course it’s a superficial treatment. Why can’t they use Schrödinger’s full equation?”
c) long articles on intellectually challenging topics: see b above
and nicest of all
d) articles that inspired awe: "doesn't this amazing story about, like, the total vastness of the cosmos just make you feel part of some crazy, wicked, out there universe, dude?"

Anyway, it's an interesting story about how and why we share information online. Check it out.


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