Lunchtime Links: The Influence Bubble of the Like Button

According to a new study, a Like button might be a lot more influential than you think. Also: An upcoming blogging platform you should get excited about.

Careful with those Like buttons: You could be creating a bubble of influence around a single idea.

No, really. That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

The influence of a Like: It may seem simple—the equivalent of a button-press—but a Like carries a lot more influence than you might guess, according to a new study. The study, “Social Influence Bias: A Randomized Experiment,” found that when something received positive influence in a community—say, a bunch of likes or retweets—it had the effect of reinforcing the result among users, creating a bit of a herd mentality around the item. “One intuitive explanation is that we tend to go along with positive social influence but be skeptical of negative social signals of value and quality,” one of the study’s authors, MIT professor Sinan Aral, told NBC News. “Positive social influence creates herding behavior and positive ratings bubbles, while negative social influence does not have the same effects.” Find something similar happening in your community?

The Ghost with the least: Finding that writing in WordPress (or Tumblr, or Drupal) just sucks your creativity dry? A number of blogging tools have surfaced to solve this problem, but the one with the most promise is still in the works. Ghost, which bills itself as “Just a Blogging Platform,” drew a huge response from its Kickstarter earlier this year (it’s about a month away from launch), in part because its focus is simplifying the writing experience as much as possible by doing away with all of the buttons common in blogging interfaces. The mastermind behind the tool, former WordPress developer John O’Nolan, used an interesting tactic to launch his idea: He wrote up the concept, drew up some screenshots, then posted the screenshots online, just to see what the reaction would be. The reaction was massive, so now he’s well along in the building phase. Maybe you’re stuck with your current blogging tools for now, but what could you take from something like Ghost in your own creative process?

#Hash #things #out: Everyone could use a new hashtag in their Twitter conquests, and nonprofit consultant Kivi Leroux Miller has been working on a list of a few great ones in the nonprofit sphere worth keeping in mind. And if you’re trying to start up your own, she’s got that covered too. “Yes, you can register your hashtag,” she explains, “… but that probably doesn’t mean what you think it means.” And when you’re trying to follow the conversation, the revamped Twubs offers a solid Twitter chat experience.

What’s your favorite #hashtag? Tell us in the comments.

(photo by Thomas Angerman/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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