Conceptual Dissemination Between the Internet and the Mainstream
This study attempts to find patterns in the spread of ideas on both the Internet and in the mainstream media. It looks first at the history of diffusion research and theories of the spread of ideas from the media to grassroots and vice versa. Using a selection of terms it examines the frequency of their occurrence over time on both Usenet and in the newspapers indexed by Lexis-Nexis. The study asks if there are discernible patterns between each domain as the terms become more frequently used, and whether it is possible to predict usage in one domain by usage in the other.
Download the PDF version of the full thesis (443K).
(I may make an HTML version available at some point.)