Researchers at Cornell have published a paper titled “Meme-tracking and the Dynamics of the News Cycle” that I need to dig into. They’ve published visualizations of their research at a NYTimes piece on the study says, “This is a landmark piece of work on the flow of news through the world… And the study shows how Web-scale analytics can serve as powerful sociological laboratories.”
Chris Anderson, who in May presented his own research into this to the International Communications Association (ICA) posted his reflections on that research and how it relates: Another Perspective on How “News” “Diffuses”: The Francisville 4 from Inside the Newsroom
Scott Rosenberg shares some criticisms in: “Newsies beat bloggers? Some caveats on memetracker study”.
Nieman Journalism Lab’s Zachary M. Seward summarizes it up: In the news cycle, memes spread more like a heartbeat than a virus.