Friday, October 31, 2008

Six degr"e"es of separation shrinking even further

Think of two subjects and do a search on Wikipedia, you'll realize that these 2 subjects are related to each other somewhere within the range of six links. This might be the average with the maximum link of separation being close to 12 but have we ever thought how true it is for the people in the first world and second world who are really separated by only six degrees of separation. (I will not get into the real existence of first, second and third world country because in times to come, and infact even now this division of worlds will cease to exist). 

Some proven experiments done say that this degree of separation might really be just a 5 degree of separation, but will this remain what it is and will the social networking sites and various other modes of getting people together and reuniting lost friends and families decrease this separation further. It has become so easy for one in the networked world to search an information about some individual these days. I agree that not everybody accesses the web world with the same degree as others but amongst all those who are currently reading my blog if they try to identify how far they are with any of my network on facebook they might realise that its nothing more than 5th degree. And I have tried this, myself. 

Though the concept of six degree of separation has remained the same for last 30 years. Infact a movie named "six degrees of separation" was made in 2006 on the subject based on another drama  featured in 1993 on this subject, showcasing how people are connected with each other and what this connection can do. But now is when I feel with the advent of these social networking avenues this degree is getting more channelized. I am sure that people would have never taken this seriously in the earlier days but in times to come this would become a stronger selling point over the net as if utilized effectively, word of mouth which already is the strongest point of marketing would grow even further and faster. With mobile marketing and the refinement of 3G Technology and Mobile 2.0 (again a concept) and the evolution of 4G Technology it will become easier and easier for marketers to reach out to consumers and the viral marketing would be easier than ever before. But as Malcolm Gladwell says in his book Tipping point that behind every thing to happen there is a reason behind it to happen, I really feel that the face of modern day marketing would be in understanding how this six degrees of separation can be used better than ever before. Also am looking at that epidemic called social commerce and internet to reach the tipping point from where marketing ans sales adepts will have no looking back !!


Shreya said...

I Agree!

the_n_element said...

we tried the same experiment on orkut cpl of years back.. and our conclusion was that... orkut doesnt show you ppl who are not within a certain degrees... kinda forceful validation of the concept !!!

The experience begins ... said...

Orkut themselves stopped this initiative because they decided against going with this initiative, and this might be dificult to actually validate because at times to really figure out the nth degree one might wait forever for that (n-1)th person to become an Orkut member !!