Nicolas Claidière
Laboratoire de psychologie cognitive
Aix-Marseille University, CNRS
13331 Marseille, France

Into the dynamic of hot topics

“Have you heard about the subprime crisis?” A few days before I was first asked that question I did not even know what a subprime was, but just in a week or so subprimes had become a major topic for news, conversation, rumors and even jokes. ‘Subprime crisis’ is an example of the successful spread, by word of mouth, media and other sources, of an information throughout a population. Most topics of conversation do not become hot, obviously, even important ones, so what makes the difference between a topic and a hot topic? Between information that spreads only locally and information that becomes known by each and everyone?

Crane and Sornette make a great step toward a better understanding of ‘hot topics dynamic’ with a simple model.

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