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Diffusion Marketing

Diffusion MarketingIt all started in the summer of 2008, when I had eventually time to read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point”. It was lazy vacation time, and I had the opportunity to lie under a tree and read something for leisure. I first started to read it as leisure. But then, the contents of the book started to fascinate me. Gladwell was writing about some strange phenomena called “Social Epidemics” that had a certain connection to what was happening around us recently. I could not help myself to stop reading. I read the book early in the morning before breakfast. I read it on the beach while my wife preferred swimming. I read in in the afternoon right after lunch until we prepared ourselves for dinner. In a very joyful hurry, I finished the book. Full of inspirations and new insights I draw back to work after summer.

Coincidentally, that year I had come across another guy called James Surowiecki – to be honest, this was even before I discovered Gladwell. A couple of weeks before that summer vacation in 2008, I had a trip to New York City. I was flying with a transfer ticket from Istanbul to New York through a connection in Paris. The flight from Istanbul to Paris was unexciting, and as a matter of fact, a little bit of boring in a less crowded plane, with not so many interesting passengers to have an entertaining observation on, for making a long flight more pleasant. But in Paris something strange happened: a couple in their fifties jumped into next seats. Indeed, it wasn’t the couple that was so strange but yet another book the husband was reading: it was James Surowiecki’s “The Wisdom of Crowds”. By the way, the guy read the book with enthusiasm for almost all the eight hours we were flying from Paris to New York. The first thing I did in New York was buying that book. My first impressions were not so much of magnitude. I read some more pages in addition to the first chapter and frustratedly put it into my bookshelf back in Istanbul to have it rest in peace.

But after Tipping Point, it started to make sense to me. While thinking about all these, the next year I stumbled upon Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody”. It provoked my mind even more. “Drive” of Dan Pink, Adam Pennenberg’s “Viral Loop”, Nicholas Christakis’ “Connected”, Philip Ball’s “Critical Mass”, they all  made me connect concepts to other concepts, ideas to other ideas, and contexts to other contexts, resulting in new concepts, new ideas, and of course new contexts, that all fostered me to make sense of what I started studying. But then of course, Albert-laslo Barabasi’s “Linked” and Alex Pentland’s “Social Physics”. I felt in the right direction.

And finally my table-top lecture, Everett Rogers’ “Diffusion of Innovations”, where networks had a crucial role, urged me approach the concept from an integrating point of view. Diffusion Theory had a deterministic character in defining social change related phenomena, such as social epidemics, and the like. Another theoretical framework, Graph Theory delivered a very useful approach to set up an analytical foundation. And of course Game Theory, of which I am personally very distanced to make big assumptions: Easley and Kleinberg’s “Networks, Crowds, and Markets” gave me the courage to combine it with the two other frameworks.

Will it make sense? We’ll see. I am still working hard on this concept and discovering new instances each and every day. I do not consider myself as a Network Scientist neither a so called Data Scientist, as it is so hot topic these days. Although I like the nasty idea of calling myself an “Innovation Scientist” (as you can see it in my about page and social media profiles), I am just an Information Scientist with a strong orientation towards Communications. But I am also aware that barriers and imaginary walls between disciplines of science are all crap and nonsense, for these are usually used and abused by insufficient and uncompetitive copycat scholars and pseudo-scientists. So I prefer the pleasure of journeying into the unknown of scientific wisdom and discovery.

Below, you will find the initial outcome of my studies. The first is a working paper I presented at the CMC2015 “20th International Conference on Corporate and Marketing Communications” in Izmir, Turkey. The second one is my presentation for that paper. Please keep in mind that the concept is still at it’s very beginning, and empirically untested. I am especially thankful for all the inspirations and insights I got from so many people, with whom I had the opportunity to discuss the concept. I am thankful to them all. I also would especially appreciate any critical contribution. So please feel free to contact me and let me know about your views, assumptions, critics, ideas, and the like.

Here you are:

The Working PaperCMC_Diff_Paper

The PresentationCMC_Diff_Presentation

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