Flu report

Analysis of the last posts of 394 blogs in a fandom b-collective, object the musician B.S., locspace a single US state, during the May Outbreak (summary)

N. A. Kibun and F. O. Farin

Some details in this abstract and in the full version of this article are withheld for reasons of privacy.

According to the voluntarily submitted statistics provided by the collective host, 65% of the posters were in the age group 14--17 and 81% in the age group 12--21, and 61% were female. The reliability of these numbers is up to some question. 11% of posters had provided no personal details.

A brief summation of the posts, broken into categories by content, follows. The categories are listed in the order the average of that category would have been posted. (For a more rigorous division and analysis, including that of the blog comments, see our forthcoming paper in the European Journal of Information Analysis.)

204 posts are non-sequiturs. Title examples: "My parents are so mean", "Why is everyone to mean to B.S.???" and "OMG me and Christy BFF"; of these, 103 were posted before the first public outbreak (May 11); an additional 70 were posted before the first public outbreak in the state (May 16). (average posting date=May 3rd)

54 posts that bemoan the cancelled B.S. world tour (announced May 14). (average posting date=May 16th)

86 posts tell the author wasn't feeling so well and would go to sleep (45), see a doctor or a non-standard healthcare provider (23) or lie down (18). Of those in the second category, 10 mention or are edited to mention inability to consult the said professional. (average posting date=May 19th)

13 posts tell the author is leaving and will be unable to post for a while; of these 8 express indignation at this; a representative example is: "My parents are taking me to aunt's! Gross! I hate the countryside! CYA ALL!" (average posting date=May 21st)

4 posts discuss the presidential emergency address of May 19th; one was edited on the 24th to add the words "Fucking optimist!". (average posting date=May 22nd)

11 posts tell of a deceased family member; 2 of these refer to several deaths while one is too confused to be sure of the exact number. (average posting date=May 23rd)

7 posts are prayers. (average posting date=May 23rd)

5 posts are reports from going outside to forage for food, look for missing family members, etc. (average posting date=May 24th)

6 posts are reports of intending to do so. (average posting date=May 24th)

2 posts are too incoherent to be understood. (average posting date=May 25th)

1 post appears to be a suicide note. (average posting date=May 27th)

The last post in the collective examined was added on May 27th at 16:40; the last comment was left at 16:49 that same day on another blog in the same collective. Both had the same content: "Please help me. Is anyone out there?"

After this, no new content appeared in the collective.

The server housing this blog collective went offline around noon on May 28th, and was not returned online subsequently.

The analysts would like to register their gratitude towards the executors of BloComm.com for giving them access to this important cultural artifact, which no doubt will yield noteworthy insights valuable for the new and burgeoning field of cascading failures in neosocial local human networks.

(Submitted for review 12/12/10. Returned from anonymous review 05/03/11, with the following comments: "Edit for style and feeling, dammit!"

last updated: (Mar 15 2011)