Without lying to people, and giving false information, what would make the below experiment work better (more people taking part?). Aside from increasing the number each person sends the message too? Suggestions are welcome and your internet insights are also going to be looked at by my class.
This was the experiment, the below e-mail was sent by my students to 2 people by each student only:
The Social Network Explosion and Distributed Network Information Possibilities, how can they benefit mankind in general??
Recently there have been several news stories nationwide about how Social Networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter to name a few) have been used to spread word of an event that eventually led to thousands if not tens of thousands of people showing up in one spot to get together for a single purpose, some of them violent and anti-social in nature. While watching one of these news stories a light went on!!
My name is Chris Wagoner and I teach computer forensics at Santa Fe College. One of the techniques we use in this area is the idea of Distributed Network Attacking of a problem. In really simplified terms, we spread the work out over many different computers to bring the computer power of all of them into one super computer of sorts. The power is unbelievable and very good at solving problems. It is so good in fact that different research projects from several major universities now use this distributed computing to work on problems like curing cancer and climate prediction (http://boinc.berkeley.edu/) . That’s when I thought what if we could use this power of the information super highway for uses like notifying people of pending danger, or notify people of missing children or of some other socially beneficial use? What a huge advancement for information sharing that it could become. Then I thought how would we do this, how could it be accomplished without intruding on people too much or causing people to think it was too hard to do? That’s when I thought of the dreaded chain e-mail and how fast some of those spread around the world and cause so much e-mail. Math is in the favor of them.
If one person starts an e-mail with a socially relevant notice on it or the location on the internet of a video or posting of some kind, and they send it to two people, and they send it to two people each and so on, the numbers quickly grow exponentially, doubling with every send! And if the message goes on for about 20 minutes (figuring it takes only about 1 minute to forward a message to two people) then 1 became 2 and 2 became 4 and 8,,… and on until 20 minutes later there are 1,048,576 people being notified!!! What if it ran on for an hour!! WOW!!! A day??? (the mathematical numbers get to big to write here at that point!!) So how do we test this or how do we set it up to see if it works?
Of the 5 billion spam messages sent out a day across the internet, a few good ones, that could help someone out should not make a real difference in your inbox, but may help someone’s life along the way.
So will you help me with this Social Networking Experiment? I have set the video up and it has no views yet (that way we can track the hits). I am going to launch this test during my Data Forensics class and they are going to be the first few to get this. If you will click on the link to the video link (that allows me to track where and when and how many, then send it to ONLY 2 PEOPLE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST (that is very important!!!) I am going to see how well this works. If it does, I will be putting the data from the test together and approaching agencies like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, I see possibilities for AMBER Alerts, and emergency notices in your area about things like terrorist attacks, storm warnings and more. All done from a simple e-mail forward you do scores of times a day sometimes anyway. The possibilities are endless.
Step 1: click on video link (it is a cute, feel good story): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6guf24672Zs
Step 2: send this note to JUST 2 OF YOUR CONTACTS! (Be sure to delete the “FW:” before resending it)
In the future with the right planning and layout and website, notices could be sent out when needed and you would simply look for a Subject line like “DN Notice” or “SN Important” as key words. DN standing for Distributed Networking and SN for Social Networking. What a concept and what a great idea if it works. Using the power of the internet and e-mail and our natural instinct to share to the advantage of society in general. Nothing to join or sign up for is the best part, the infrastructure is already there, we just need to figure out how to use it!
Be well and stay safe!
Santa Fe College
Data Forensics/ Computer Crime Investigation Instructor
Social Networking Curiosity seeker!!!