As humans, we have always embarked on journeys to explore unknown worlds.  We traversed mountains and rivers to discover the edges of land.  We built ships that carried us across oceans to new continents.  We built submarines to take us into the depths of the sea.  We built planes to cross the sky, and then rockets to journey beyond the atmosphere.

Explorations of physical space continue into the depths of the ocean, out into the far reaches of space, and into the heart of atoms.  But we have always been intrigued by—and to a large extent denied access to—the depths of the human mind.  And if there is anything more interesting than the complexity of individual consciousness, it is the behavior of societies—communities of conscious minds working together.

As the Internet has grown, we have increasingly linked our life experiences together. We share art, music, joys, and sorrows across the divides of oceans, governments, and cultures.  With roughly 45% of the world’s more than 7 billion people now connected to the Internet, new challenges have emerged in the conceptualization of online communities at scale.  At Graphika, we are dedicated to mapping the structure and dynamics of online social spaces, revealing insights and providing pathways to action in the growing nexus of the online and physical worlds.

We call this the cyber-social geography of the Internet, and we see it as the new frontier of human discovery.

As we have shared our work with social scientists, marketers, and political campaign managers, questions inevitably arise:

  • What does the social structure of the Internet look like?
  • How can I find the communities that are important to me within the social landscape?
  • What types of content and conversation command the attention of these populations?
  • Who is influencing these niche communities and how can I reach them?
  • What are the implications of these cyber-social structures for markets, governments, and society at large?

In the coming posts, we will address these questions.  Come with us as we journey into the social mind of the planet.