Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Is the Tipping Point Toast?

Duncan Watts explains why he thinks Gladwell et. al are wrong about influencers. His thesis is that a trend can come from anyone and depends much more on the willingness of the masses to accept the trend than the “influence” of the individual. I think the core of the problem with influencer theory is that it’s often confused with reach, in other words, those who are considered influential are actually the ones with the most reach within a given community.

For those interested, here’s the PDF of Watts’ full paper: Influentials, Networks, and Public Opinion Formation (which I plan to read on my plane ride home).

January 25, 2008