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There’s something rather magical about the fluid shape shifting phenomena of social media.

And it has reached far beyond the slangy codified data dynamics and scale numbers thrown around Old Street hot desks of doing.

Dependent on the context and the lens through which you view them, there is something truly phenomenal in the surges swoops and sweeps of the numbers and the geophysics of how where and when they occur

Having just launched the Virgin #voom/Pitch to Rich campaign (not personally of course but as one of a very large team) I have started to view social phenomena through this lens and things are looking quite beautiful. And revelatory.

The staggering social reach and the dynamics of flocking in the social media networks around the campaign and some of the numbers being achieved (45.2 Million social media reach in 6 days-ish) has for me stretched far beyond the need for collective nouns.

(How the #voom/pitchtorich campaign reached this scale of impact is a much larger thing to consider. But the finger points to the spirit, mood, exceptional impact and revelatory nature of the Branson films Bruce Goodison of Sundog Pictures created from the various pieces of paper and email chains – supported by some leading media thinking and doing across a substantial number of interrelated and interdependent media channels, partners and audiences)

The wave of furious activity #voom/pitchtorich has inspired in the social networks bears a closer look. The irony is that the further back you stand the closer you can observe the ‘nature’ – the physical virtual dynamics – of its social phenomena.

Originating in a clumsy joke of mine about twitter and birds flocking – I slowly came to the quieter joke of murmurations of twitterati. I am always astonished and in awe of murmurations of starlings. There is an ‘otherness’ to them – as if they are in thrall to a different dimension of existence – to the magnetic turbulences and older forces at work in the world that remain otherwise unseen.

It is also incredible to think that we as humans get to observe them in ways they will never know from the white heat heart of their furious purpose.

Perhaps the same is true of ourselves in relation to our virtual otherness and the collective behaviours and actions in which our virtual selves participate.

I have always sensed that the shape shifting mass of a murmuration carries its own ‘voice’ within it; a relentlessly changing imprint of cadences, inflections; sharp punctuations and sublime emphasis – an ornithological oratory written across the sky.

It then occurred to me that if we mapped our social murmurations – by numbers and actions across time and space we could perhaps visualise our own greater voice carried within them.

For example if there was a social campaign that could be plotted not only by number of participants (flock) but by intensity (altitude) geolocation (topography) and time (horizon) – perhaps we could create animated murmurations of social phenomena.

If we could do that we could then perhaps study the patterns and nature of them in much the same way that we study sound waves and voice recognition patterns.

And perhaps with the wider ambition of attribution, we could begin to recognize traits and characteristics in each pattern that helps us to define the real voice at work and its source and integrity.

Just a thought that I would love to explore a little more.

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