The Web Experiment – An Experiment to Examine the Viral Nature of Internet

by Justin Burris · 14 comments

This is guest post by Justin Burris of The Web Experiment.

It’s no secret that the true power of the internet lies in its ability to connect people. The medium has grown to become a constant hum that pervades our lives; its inescapable ubiquity means that every moment of our lives is recorded somewhere online.
We use Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to write about ourselves and interact with others around the world. We spread information and ideas through a network of more complete than any other.

A New York investment banker and an impoverished African orphan are only a click away from one another. This facility of interaction allows us to spread these ideas rapidly, and in effect, spread them. People tell people who tell people. Though apparent, this viral effect has never been scientifically examined.

The Web Experiment is the first attempt to properly document the web’s virality. The Web Experiment will examine the internet’s viral nature by tracking how many people will visit a website solely to see how many others have already visited the site.

web-experiment

People will tell one another about the Experiment, and curiosity will drive viewers to the website that their contact have told them about. The same effect is what drives YouTube videos to garner millions of views; people want to see what other people see. We are a social species; we have an unquenchable urge to know more about what others do. These primal instincts drive the spread of information, and The Web Experiment will see just how powerful these instincts to share, learn, and explore are.

The number of unique individuals who have visited the site is displayed in real time on the website. The site also contains a blog where the experimenters will record the progress of the Experiment as it advances.

Hopefully, by monitoring how people are referred to the website, the experimenters will learn more about how ideas are spread. This unique website will surely provide insight into the nature of the internet, allowing for a greater understanding of human interactions on a global scale.

I am waiting for your opinions about this Web Expirement.

About Justin Burris

Hi, I'm Justin, a 16 year old living in New York City. I recently started a project called "The Web Experiment" in an attempt to examine the viral nature of the internet by tracking how many people will visit a website solely to see how many other people have already visited the site. You can follow me on Twitter to learn more about the experiment and the web in general.

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Albert Fang October 8, 2009 at 6:22 am

This is the reason why social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter fiend off of. People wanting to know what other people are doing, gives the authority and power that big networks like Facebook has.
.-= Albert Fang´s last blog ..Article Marketing: A Strategy for Affiliate Marketing =-.

Deepika December 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm

nice experiment…we like to have more experiments like this. whats the current result of this one?

Senthil Ramesh December 28, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I just visited the site. It shows it has 2,033 visits had. What does this mean. There are no other links from it. Thats it. Is that the project? What is the benefit from this?
.-= Senthil Ramesh´s last blog ..How To Make A Good Impression In Your Blog =-.

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