The Levy flight

Clay Shirky taught me this very cool mathematical concept that shows up in nature, and now in marketing and social media.

Levy-flight-100000 An animal that forages will hang out in a small area, looking for nuts or berries, then will realize it has used up all the likely sources in this spot. It will then head off in a random direction, walk many paces, and start foraging again. When you plot the Levy flight, it looks like this:

Someone discovers your site. They poke and prod and join and return and return again. Then they feel as though there’s no more benefit and they move on, surfing until they find another place to forage.

Someone finds your restaurant. They love it. They return with friends. They hang out and become regulars for a while. Then they get bored and start browsing again.

Adding the Levy flight to your understanding is a much more nuanced representation of consumer behavior than solely thinking about the ideas of brand loyalty or random web surfing.

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Experiences of a SXSW Noobie

Author Richie Cruz March
I like to think I maintain a perfectly healthy skepticism of the unknown.

So, last week, when told I’d be attending SXSW along with some other AgencyNetters, my immediate enthusiasm was quickly met with feelings of perplexity- I’d never been to SXSW, much less its interactive bucket, so I had no idea what to expect. A majority of my friends and industry colleagues had previously attended the music track, which I had assumed would overlap in some capacity.  Needless to say, pen, pad, and laptop handy, I hit the Austin Convention Center like it was freshman year orientation all over again.

Leaving New York was no small ordeal; my travel experience, compounded by rain and delays took an unbelievable 13 hours. Needless to say, I managed to arrive safely and in one piece, and began my three-day experience as an empty vessel, waiting to be filled with knowledge by some of the most influential minds in our industry.

Here is a quick summary of some of the best discussions that I attended:

The first (and definitely one of the best) of the discussions I sat in on was Clay Shirky’s “Monkeys with Internet Access: Sharing, Human Nature, and Digital Data.” The NYU professor brilliantly gave a discourse on “sharing”: its evolutionary origins, its considerable disruptive potential, how our shifting communication paradigm is responsible for the recent explosion in sharing behavior and the implications of such for creating civic value.

Clay ShirkyClay Shirky does his thing… without slides!

Some great points:

  • Abundance breaks more things than scarcity
  • Technology and media revolutions can devalue existing institutions because of inferiority by comparison.
  • Behavior = motivation filtered by opportunity.
  • People can use sharing to create civic value (For example, – where users upload their most personal medical symptoms allowing patients to better understand their diseases and doctor’s to better find suitable patients.) Seguir leyendo “Experiences of a SXSW Noobie”