Today I am sitting at home having a little pity-party as my entire family has succumbed to this season’s cold.
It reminded me of a TED presentation I watched a few years ago – ironically while in a taxi returning from a Cognos forum in the sunny Gold Coast. Nicholas Christakis was discussing how social networks can be used to predict epidemics.
Essentially he proposed that with the vast amount of information available to us about the friends, families and other members of society they we interact with – through Facebook, Twitter, community groups, schools, doctors etc. – we are able to apply analytics to identify individuals with high social influence and use that information to predict the likely spread of disease.