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How Studying Ant Behavior Can Make Social Networks Better

People who go on social networking sites are often compared to ant colonies — but it may be truer than anyone realizes. A new study from the University of Madrid suggests that the behavior of real-life ants could inspire developers to improve the way these sites function. By constructing an algorithm modeled off the… » 6/05/12 10:39am 6/05/12 10:39am

Did Gary Numan predict Facebook?

My life is increasingly mediated by the internet, even more than it was in college. I'm blogging more, using OKCupid, and repping the shit out of my writing all over Facebook. I stay up late drinking and chat with people, which is what I also did when I was in middle school (without the drinking). It's in times like… » 2/16/11 2:30pm 2/16/11 2:30pm

The more Facebook friends you have, the more likely you'll catch the flu

When you ask someone to name a friend of theirs, the person they name is almost always more popular than themselves. It's called the friendship paradox. But the cool kids with thousands of Facebook friends may find a major downside to their popularity. They're likely to get sick far quicker in an epidemic. During the… » 9/16/10 12:34pm 9/16/10 12:34pm

Rare Disease Bonding is the New Social Connector

If you're sick of bonding with people over Scrabulous and superpokes and pop music, then maybe it's time to migrate to a social network where the only thing people have in common are their rare diseases. Rareshare.org is a new social network like MySpace which is totally devoted to connecting people who have the same… » 7/14/08 12:11pm 7/14/08 12:11pm

Make Friends With The Ultimate Weirdness

The New Weird, the awesome new anthology edited by io9 contributors Ann and Jeff Vandermeer, has its own MySpace Page. That means you can make friends with a whole literary movement, which focuses on urban settings and visceral, disturbing imagery borrowed from horror. The anthology follows the genesis of the New… » 3/26/08 12:00pm 3/26/08 12:00pm

Study Shows Digg Freezes Innovation Among Its Users

Transparently-shared ideas, like those that circulate on popular social networks such as Digg, Delicious, and StumbleUpon, may be destroying people's creativity. According to a new study published today by two cognitive scientists, people who share ideas in large groups tend to stagnate rather than innovate. They… » 2/20/08 7:40am 2/20/08 7:40am