Designing the World of Digital Experience

Universal Patterns Wired & Fired

Illustration Credit: Benedict Campbell, Centre de Recerca Biomèdica a Barcelona. Used under Creative Commons License

Nature’s Scientific Reports published a study that connects the structures of the universe, the internet and the brain.  The similarities in how they expand and grow opens up a phenomenal opportunities to better understand where the social networking is going.  Finding consistent patterns in other complex adaptive systems will allow us to better cultivate and grow online networks.

“Natural growth dynamics are the same for different real networks, like the Internet or the brain or social networks” says author Dmitri Krioukov

Universe

Universe

Neurons

Neurons

Neuroplasticity reveals to us how the brain changes and adapts as a result of experience. When brain cells cluster with each other, the neural pathways keep expanding and connecting to form a massive complex network.  This amazing part is how much this pattern looks like the internet.

“Neurons that fire together, wire together”

The similarities continue in our social world (both digital or physical) when people become bonded through shared experiences. This takes on the form of feelings, thoughts, sensations and physical actions.  It was neuropsychologist, Donald Hebb, who first observed that each time a thought or action is repeated and neurons fire together – existing synapses strengthen by forming new ones that become “wired” together. So essentially, our social connections and the ways we communicate actually alters the circuitry of our brain. This is powerful stuff!

Creating Community: Self-Organizing Systems

Photo used under Creative Commons License, https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=ZLFUyaZNjG8bWM&tbnid=pvI6VCATAbW8AM:&ved=0CAUQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FSelf-organization&ei=rcogU7GtBsWHkQfI-4GYBw&psig=AFQjCNHRAhf83C8AAsWS3iP8onVnFxzW2A&ust=1394744328752764

Birds of a Feather

The new role of brand marketing is to inspire people to form communities around shared values.  The same patterns that appear when complex networks develop in nature, is mirrored when people self-organize in social systems.

So as social networks grow and bind together, these self-organizing patterns arise when people feel an emotional connectedness to others. When brands tap into the collective conscious of the customer — a heightened level of desire and interaction is created that “wires the community together” around the company or product.

Maintaining Community: Positive Experiences

When social media is used to create positive experiences, the collective community draws together through their shared experiences. In neuroscience, we learn that the brain colors experiences with feelings – pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.  In everyday life, people tend to stay with what’s pleasant, avoid what’s unpleasant and move on from what’s neutral.  Even with content marketing, the messages that companies put into the digital world can be similarly categorized (valuable, garbage or indifferent), producing similar effects.

The key to maintaining “brand love” is through consistent, positive interactions that bring comfort and connectedness with the community and reinforce the loyalty with companies or products.  


 Human Brain, Internet, and Network Cosmology. Published by the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), based at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California

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