## With the social fragmenting of the Modern Era, the importance of Gatekeepers and Tastemakers has crumbled.

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##### Description

With the social fragmenting of the Modern Era, the importance of Gatekeepers and Tastemakers has crumbled. People crave authenticity, and are more willing to accept information from individuals they trust rather than accepting the edicts Experts and Industry. At the same time, the rise of the Internet and Social Media has provided new paths for information to travel. And it has allowed the rise of “Influencers”, individuals (and sometimes groups) who have built up carefully cultivated networks based on shared interests. This model will seek to explore how information – such as a marketing campaign – can be passed from individual to individual, and possible effects that Influencers might have on the rate of transmission.

For this Project you will need a Standard Poker Deck to use as a simulated Population. (You may also use any 20 objects that can be marked in two ways, and another to indicate the “Influencer”.) Separate out the pip cards – Ace through 10 of each suit – and then divide them by color – red and black.

To simulate a “word of mouth” campaign where information is passed from individual to individual one person at a time, take the 20 Red Pip cards, and replace one with a Black Pip card. (Following the logic of business, individuals “in the red” are lacking something – in this case, your marketing campaign – while those “in the black” have gained.) Shuffle the 19+1 cards into ten pairs. In any pair that contains a Black card, replace the other card in the pair with a Black card, if necessary. Repeat this shuffle/pair process until all 20 cards are Black, and record the number of shuffles. Repeat this at least five times to get a good simulation. How many shuffles, on average, did it take to share the information with all 20 individuals?

We will now simulate the effect of an Influencer in two ways: both as a passive network that simply allows for a wider spread of information, and as an active influence on the individuals in their network.

Indicate the passive Influencers with a Red Face Card (or other object). Once again take the 20 Red Pip cards, and turn one Black to indicate someone who has experienced your marketing. Shuffle the 19+1 cards, dealing six (6) cards under the Influencer, and the remaining cards into seven pairs. As before, if a pair contains a Black Card, replace the other card. If any of the six Influencer cards are Black, turn all six Black. (If you are using a card to represent the Passive Influencer, it will always remain Red.) Gather the 20 cards (leaving the Influencer on the table), and repeat the shuffle/six+pairs process until once again all 20 cards are Black, recording the number of shuffles required. Repeat this at least five times as well. How many shuffles, on average, did it take to share the information with all 20 individuals when a Passive Influencer was involved?