Can Fractals Explain the Social Media Phenomenon?

I was inspired by a blog “All the World’s A Stage”, in which the author, Ellen Waldren, describes social media as “an almost limitless, bottomless pit of information, the more I read the more there is to read.  Rather like a legendary labyrinth, round and round, turning one corner, to be faced with another choice.” 

I found her metaphor fascinating as I have used fractals to explain social media. Fractals can be identified in nature like coastlines and snowflakes, in artwork like Dali. The properties of fractals such as self-similar, dimension and iterative formation are attributes to explain this infinite highway of tweets, re-tweets, forwards, posts, etc. from one original source i.e. this blog.

Below is an excellent example showing the transformation of the Koch Snowflake, starting with a basic triangle, and one can watch how it is transformed. Imagine that the triangle is this blog and then this blog is shared, divided and re-posted other platforms. The original link is still there, it’s just divided and filtered throughout, but the original essence is still there, i.e. fractals.

http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/frac/koch.html

 

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About Social Sonnets

Story teller, writer, dreamer, mother and wife.
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1 Response to Can Fractals Explain the Social Media Phenomenon?

  1. dougpruim says:

    Excellent post … and I really love the idea of using fractals to conceptualize social media use. This reminded me of some videos I saw about how things “go viral” online here: http://bit.ly/154O00s
    Nice work. =)

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