#CMGRHangout presents: Six Degrees of Separation


Somewhat recently, Facebook published research titled Three and a Half Degrees of Separation, encouraging users to utilize their app and determine your average degrees of separation from everyone. (Mine is 2.95 which is smaller than Zuckerberg’s 3.17, but I digress.) This research is, of course, piggy backing off the Six Degrees of Separation which is, per Wikipedia, “the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 and popularized by a 1990 play written by John Guare.” (It has since been turned into a bit of a game to see how many degrees any actor is from Kevin Bacon.)

All of this to say, I was talking with community consultant Scott Moore about potential upcoming #CMGRHangout topics and he mentioned degrees of separation due to Facebook bringing this top of mind. (By the way, Scott is a never-ending stream of amazing ideas, which isn’t surprising if you know him at all.) After a pretty interesting Skype call on the topic, we were able to bring this back to whether this research plays any role in community strategy, and, if so, which concepts to look at and which variables matter. 

Want to dig into network shapes, visualizations (ahem NodeXL ahem) and centrality all under the lens of community? Join us for this week’s #CMGRHangout panel on Friday, March 11th at 2pm EST/11am PST!

+Jonathan Brewer and +Sherrie Rohde will be hosting the hangout with +Scott Moore, +Casie Shimansky and +Marc Smith on panel. +Christin Kardos and +Carrie Keenan will be moderating the Twitter chat using #CMGRHangout.

Discussion Questions

1. What is the “Six Degrees of Separation” model and where did it come from?
2. Is there any accuracy or usefulness we can derive from this model? If so, what?
3. What other concepts exist for looking at networks and connections?
4. What are network shapes and how do they matter when looking at connections?
5. How do we decide who to include when mapping out a network?
6. What is centrality and how does it come into play when identifying influence?
7. What role do these concepts play, if any, in building community strategies?
8. What tools are out there to help in identifying and visualizing these networks?

RSVP & Watch the Hangout

RSVP here to let us know you’re going to watch. This will add the event to your calendar and remind you to attend! If you want to be on air, please let us know in advance by commenting here.

Let’s discuss ways you can attend:

Watch: You do NOT need to join the hangout. Just stay on the Google+ Event and you’ll see the video on YouTube. (Don’t worry, it will be there and start playing as soon as the broadcast begins.)

Talk and Be Seen: If you decide you want to talk, not just watch, please let us know in advance. (We will only invite a few people for this event, so let us know why you would like to attend.) 

Chat: You can watch here and/or follow the conversation on Twitter using #CMGRHangout .

If you join us on the hangout, a wired internet connection is preferred and if you have a headset with mic or earbuds, that works best for the audio. You will also need a working webcam.

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