Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Geographical Distance and the Internet

Distance Is Not Dead: Social Interaction and Geographical Distance in the Internet Era
While technology has undoubtedly increased the overall level of communication, this increase has been most pronounced for local social ties. We show that the volume of electronic communications is inversely proportional to geographic distance, following a Power Law. We directly study the importance of physical proximity in social interactions by analyzing the spatial dissemination of new baby names. Counter-intuitively, and in line with the above argument, the importance of geographic proximity has dramatically increased with the internet revolution.
The study is based on facebook and e-mails data. In addition, to show evidence of the importance of physical proximity over time, they names.

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