Stop the presses! Microsoft Research is getting national front page coverage!
The work of Eric Horvitz and Jure Leskovec got top coverage in major newspapers and news sites today. With that fame, Eric will probably never again be willing to just while away a Friday afternoon with our Microsoft Institute folks, brainstorming some outside-the-box ideas for future work, as he did this week with us in Redmond’s Building 99.
Right after that meeting, I bugged out of Redmond for a red-eye to the east coast. Back home in DC this morning (Saturday), I opened my Washington Post to find on page A1, “Instant-Messagers Really Are About Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon: Big Microsoft Study Supports Small World Theory.”
As of Saturday evening the Post story is currently listed as #1 on the list of “Most viewed stories” on WashingtonPost.com. Many other papers and news sites followed suit; the BBC picked it up, “Study Revives Six-Degrees Theory” (and that’s also currently listed as #1 “Most-read stories” on the BBC News site).
The story covers the same research which I blogged about a couple of months ago, as “The Largest Social Network Ever Analyzed,” and I’m not surprised at the popularity on news sites. In fact, when my blog post was featured on the main Microsoft Research site and then their MSR news RSS feed, my blog received several thousand extra daily hits for a few days, making that post my second-most-read in the short history of Shepherds Pi. (The most-read has been my April Fool’s edition lampooning MSR’s quest for a new value of Pi itself, which was featured on Wikipedia and a couple of other mega-hittage sites. Thank goodness for WordPress’s servers.)
Well done, Eric! And also Jure Leskovec, the MSR intern and co-author of the paper.
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