Howard Dean and the Viral Ties That Bind

Minty Musings is so right: Howard Dean “was way ahead of his time.” Dean and his team–Joe Trippi, Zephyr Teachout,and of course, Garrett Graff–really bought “into the value of the Internet,” as Jenny from the Farm aptly pointed out.

The creation of the Open-Sourced “Deanspace” (Zack Rosen) fit perfectly into Joe Trippi’s “Perfect Storm.” Deanspace, Meetup.com and SmirkingChimp.com galvanized Dean supporters across the country in a way that had never been done before…virally. Sociologist, Mark Granovetter, called this phenomenon, “the strength of weak ties.”

From Wikipedia:

“The ‘weak tie hypothesis’ argues, using a combination of probability and mathematics, as originally stated by Anatol Rapoport in 1957, that if A is linked to both B and C, then there is a greater than chance probability that B and C are linked to each other.”

The “weak ties” create a network where “supporters will sign up supporters who will sign up even more supporters, so the growth through group-forming is a social network explosion, and the value is not just in the numbers here.” Ultimately, Dean’s “explosion” of support did not withstand his explosion of passion–but his campaign’s Internet strategy set the new standard.

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~ by eTechnorize on April 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “Howard Dean and the Viral Ties That Bind”

  1. I am aslo fascinated by this theory and I really like your illustration!

  2. […] networks grow exponentially and “may result in deeper engagement” (Lebkowsky). It seems like BeckBlogic Weblog and I have noted the same sentences in this essay, please read this entry about sociologist, Mark […]

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