Word of Mouth (Patches) Experiment


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An idea disseminates through a community through strong ties (friends) and weak ties (casual acquaintances) 

created with NetLogo

view/download model file: WOM_Patches-DEMO_orange.nlogo

WHAT IS IT?

Word-of-Mouth-Replication is a replication of a study reported in:

Jacob Goldenberg, Barak Libai and Eitan Muller (2001), "Talk of the Network: A Complex Systems Look at the Underlying Process of Word-of-Mouth</a>," Marketing Letters, (12), pp. 209-221.

--- quote ---
The strength of weak ties
There is scant evidence on the breakdown of the personal communication between closer and stronger communications that are within an individual's own personal group (strong ties), and weaker and less personal communications that an individual makes with a wide, often random, set of other acquaintances and colleagues (weak ties). We model these two phenomena and show that the influence of weak ties is at least as strong as the influence of strong ties. Despite the relative inferiority of the weak tie parameter in the model's assumptions (strong ties reflect greater probability for an individual-level transformation), their effect approximates or exceeds that of strong ties, in all of the process stages.
--- unquote ---


HOW IT WORKS

Five parameters control the diffusion of knowledge through a community:
* Size of one's personal network - number close friends and family whom we trust
* Size of one's loose contacts - number of acquaintances met and then perhaps forgotten
* Salience of contact with the personal network
* Salience of contact with loose contacts
* Salience of advertising

In the early stages of new product diffusion then advertising clearly has the greatest influence (as no-one knows about it they can't talk about it), but word-of-mouth quickly takes over.


HOW TO USE IT

This should be pretty obvious: change parameters with the slide bars, hit GO to run all at once, hit STEP to move one step at a time.


THINGS TO NOTICE

How long it takes for the diffusion process to start at different levels of advertising.
How the "Informed" cells are clustred together at different levels of weak-ties effectiveness, and at different numbers of weak ties.


THINGS TO TRY

See the most dramatic differences with low advertising level, and many close ties, and few loose ties, compared with few close ties and many loose ties.


EXTENDING THE MODEL

This section could give some ideas of things to add or change in the procedures tab to make the model more complicated, detailed, accurate, etc.


NETLOGO FEATURES

Unlike many other phase-transition models, here I have changed the colours of cells which nearly changed transition (darker shades of blue for the higher probability of change) - with that we can see more clearly how phase-transition often is a close call.


RELATED MODELS

To be advised.


CREDITS AND REFERENCES

Jacob Goldenberg, Barak Libai and Eitan Muller (2001), "Talk of the Network: A Complex Systems Look at the Underlying Process of Word-of-Mouth</a>," Marketing Letters, (12), pp. 209-221.