The social life of political books

Valdis Krebs has extended his analysis of book buying habits, originally written a few years ago: The Social Life of Books: Visualizing Communities of Interest via Purchase Patterns on the WWW

One of the cardinal rules of human networks is "Birds of a feather flock together". Friends of friends become friends, and coworkers of coworkers become colleagues. Dense clusters of connections emerge throughout the social space. The usual pattern found throughout social structures[and many other complex systems] is dense intra-connectivity within clusters with sparse inter-connectivity between clusters.

His new analysis, Political Patterns on the WWW, looks at New York Times Bestsellers List and created an impressive map that shows people who buy "liberal" books tend to only buy other liberal books. And those who buy "conservative" tend to only buy conservative. There is very little overlap between the audiences.

Here is the network map. Have a look at his writeup directly for more info (and a bigger image).

4 Comment(s)

Piers Young said:

I love this! Neatly explains the problem I often get in bookshops, e.g. looking for something interesting but finding same old same old and buying it just in case. More generally, it seems a lovely example of why it's important to do what that awful phrase suggests and "think outside the box". e.g. dive in and buy a book on something you know nothing about - it might spark some thoughts.

» Sleeping with the Devil from Monkeymagic

Sleeping with the Devil seems to be a book to read whichever political camp you're in. Read More

Valdis said:

Thanks for the nice comments Jack and Piers!

Some people have suggested that "All of the Shah's Men" is a great book for either side to read... and maybe discuss with each other ;-)

Valdis said:

Thanks for the nice comments Jack and Piers!

Some people have suggested that "All of the Shah's Men" is a great book for either side to read... and maybe discuss with each other ;-)

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