Gilad Lotan, Cherie Meyer, and myself recently wrote up a piece for SocialFlow, a company that I am contracting/consulting for currently. We wanted to look at the spread of information surrounding the release of information that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Specifically, we wanted to identify the first person that specifically mentioned that Osama bin Laden had been killed, and watch the virality/spread of the information over time. What ended up happening turned into a stunning report we wrote up. Not totally academic, but certainly interesting information.
The original work has since been put behind a paywall on Socialflow, but you can read a review of it here.