Quick Update: Crowds & Ladders

27 Jan

Lots of good discussion on the topic of Crowd Dynamics. Granted, I think that the DigitalDesignBlog post excerpt fueled a bit of an incendiary angle in regard to the Social Participation Ladder. Not intended. Actually, I think the ladder is a great visualization of how folks climb up to participate, (and to mix metaphors) placing themselves at the center of a crowd by contributing. I haven’t worked out if being at the center of the crowd means you’re contributing – or whether it means you’ve got reputation…but, that’s definitely coming up next in my explorations.

The quick update I wanted to share was related to a potential visualization of the ladder, in context to crowds. You see, (and I am sure I’ll get no argument from the authors on this) people don’t only occupy one rung on the ladder. Not only do people occupy multiple rungs…I think there are multiple ladders, in fact – one for each topical structure in the world.

In fact, I think that the ladder does indeed exist, in each context. Not only can ladders be drawn for specific populations – more interestingly (I think) – they can be drawn around specific topics – or contexts.

So, there are two quick takeaways… First, what does participation look like? What about tweets, when mined for hash tags? I would argue that tweeting contributes to a crowd, for sure. What are the blocks that are being stacked? How are they viewed? Next, what does “center of the crowd” mean? Is it reputation? Contribution? A little of both, probably. More on reputation measurement later, I think. When is that Klout.net invite coming?!

3 Responses to Quick Update: Crowds & Ladders


Josh Bernoff

January 27th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Good way of thinking about things.

Multiple ladders would be hell to track. Anybody want to pay us to survey people like this?


Joe Fernandez

January 27th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Hi, this is Joe from Klout. Great post. What’s your twitter username? I will make sure you get that invite!


Joe Fernandez

January 27th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Actually, found your account and sent your invite. Made you a super user so you get a preview of functionality that very few other users have.

We are in LA also. Would love to meet up some day and talk about this visualization of multiple ladders. This is very aligned to where we are taking Klout.

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