analyzing sharing activity over social networks

Date: Fall 2010 - Fall 2012
Collaborators: The New York Times R&D Lab, Mark Hansen

Cascade is a project that visualizes the sharing activity of New York Times content over social networks. Built at The New York Times Company Research and Development Lab, Cascade is an interactive, exploratory tool that is presented in an number of environments – including a 5-screen video wall. Accessing a constantly-updated database of sharing events, the system constructs sharing structures called ‘cascades’ in near-real time. These cascades can be analyzed and explored through a novel, three-dimensional interface.

This first-of-its-kind tool links browsing behavior on a site to sharing activity to construct a detailed picture of how information propagates through the social media space. While initially applied to New York Times stories and information, the tool and its underlying logic may be applied to any publisher or brand interested in understanding how its messages are shared.