Saturday, September 20, 2008

Linked with LinkedIn

I was in my early teens when I first heard about the ‘Six Degrees of Seperation’ – every individual on the planet is connected to every other individual by a maximum of six people.

I tried playing the game with the names of as many famous people as I could think of, and I ended up finding most of them on the third or fourth step itself. But then I had a trump card up my sleeve – Tatha. Tatha had been on first name terms with many of the top scientists of the day, so that took care of anyone I could think of in the field of science (Dr. XYZ was a biologist, so he must be known to Francis Crick, who was known to my Tatha). Tatha had also met most of political leaders of India, and one could presume that between them, they knew practically everyone in the field of politics. Sports and Entertainment were more difficult, but my mother had gone to school with one of the leading Bollywood actresses, and to college with two cricket stars, so connections could be made.

I soon tired of the game, and was reminded of it only the other day when I was searching for someone on LinkedIn. A google search for Sarah Palin found its way into my LinkedIn search, and I found that eight people I know, know someone who is known to Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin led me to John McCain – 36 people I am connected to are connected to someone who is connected to John McCain. By now I was hooked – 109 people I know, know someone known to Barack Obama, and the number is a dismal 10 for Hillary Clinton. I was heartbroken to find that neither Bill Clinton nor Bill Gates is on my personal network – but since both of them are likely to known to Hillary Clinton, I am one additional step away from them both.

The 253 people that I know, between them know over 25,600 people, and they know a further 1,518,700 people. Which means there are more than 15 million people on my LinkedIn network alone. None of these are casual acquaintances – a LinkedIn connection is made only when one person invites another to be a connection, and the other person accepts. You may not have found all the people who you know, and who are on LinkedIn, and not everyone is on LinkedIn – my husband, for instance, refuses to sign-up because he thinks all networking sites are a waste of time – which makes your network much larger than it appears to be on LinkedIn.

Which means that I may well be connected – connected, as in actually connected – to everyone on the planet with less than the mandatory six steps.

The world IS much smaller than I ever imagined it to be. And social networking sites are just making it smaller still.

2 comments:

Femin Susan said...

at first I was marveled to see such a blog.I wish I had a blog like yours.how where you able to cope such a lot.meet me at
http://www.poems-of-nature.blogspot.com/

Waiting with curiosity. To know your innovation

Natasha said...

Thanks, Susan for leaving a comment.
Will visit you soon.

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