Online Crowds – Extraordinary Mass Behavior on the Internet The roots : Social contagion of the “ Real Crowds

  • Russ C
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In this paper a novel form of online users, the Online Crowds, is described. Online Crowds gather virtually, behave and act collectively and produce effects and phenomena which would not be possible without the Internet Hof 05. A remarkable example is The Million Dollar Homepage1 where a clever student made more than 100.000 only by offering a simple but unique online idea. He used the dynamics between online users and companies to make money with almost no effort. To understand these social contagion processes, an interdisciplinary conceptual and psychological model of Online Crowds is introduced. The model is based on the principles of Other directedness, Critical mass, Positive feedback loops and the accelerating impact of network effects on the Internet. Some recommendations are sketched how such Online Crowds can be actively formed for promising online business models. If the behavior and the characteristics of Online Crowds are better understood, decision makers and providers will be better capable to predict and promote successful online communities and services. Moreover a look at the positive and negative effects of these phenomena is taken and their challenges, as well as the implications for the affected society are analyzed. Especially the domain of New Media Technology (NMT) and the particular area of online recommender- and personalization technology are facing a potential for exploiting these Internet phenomena. Finally, a list of related work in the field and an outlook on further improvements in the discussed approach are given

Author-supplied keywords

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  • categories
  • collective extraordinary behavior
  • h
  • internet phenomena
  • j
  • k
  • social contagion
  • societal business implications

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  • Christian Russ

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