Thursday, August 19, 2010

Connectivity: internet flows, airline flows and our internet usage

Ethan Zuckerman on TED this year has some really interesting observations on social networks. His focus was primarily on how we create with filter bubbles. We stay within our own interest boundaries. Maybe the old economy and the new economy have something in common - it hard tomove outside your milieu. Actually Zuckerman suggests its easier to get stuff across the globe than move outside your digital bubble. He has some great diagrams of the lack of international news carried by US media. He highlights wiki entries geo-coded which shows that they mostly relate to the USA, Europe, Brazil and Australia.

Ethan says we focus on the infrastructure of globalisation - he uses the example of airline routes rather than the content of the wiring - the number planes or passengers moving between places.

On a related subject, recently, I came across the work of Chris Harrison. His images reveal the city to city connectivity of global society. Unsurprisingly, there is huge activity within the USA and then between the USA and Western Europe. Take the time to look at his images.

Essentially, connectivity maps are the same if we talk of flights or bits and bytes.

Zuckerman could be onto something. Perhaps there is a growing difference in our trade behaviour and our person to person connections.

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