Six Degrees of Separation." It was one of those catch phrases
of the last 20 years. There are 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon, and those
in Hollywood where you can connect him to any actress based on his
work. Now the challenge I propose to you is to see
if you can find someone active in the SharePoint Community anywhere
in the world that is more than 3 degrees from me. In addition,
going into a new community, find the leader and you'll find the
connection to the rest of the community. We are all about 3 degrees
of separation and in many cases there is no separation, we are at
2! These degrees can much more easily be validated with the common
social networking tools of Facebook, Twitter and Linked in, and
we'll limit the scope to validating the degrees with those social
tools. As well, we're talking about people who are not averse to
being connected and are active in their community. This shrinking
world is fascinating. Social networking and how we define a friend
are really changing this game of how we are connected. You can read
more about this shift in
facebook heading from 6 to 3.
Not only is the SharePoint community getting closer as many of
us connect online through social networks and in global travel to
more local events, analytics based on facebook data is showing the
world is getting more connected, and 6 degrees from those online is
actually overestimated. "While 99.6 percent of all pairs of users
are connected by paths with 5 degrees (6 hops),"
Backstrom wrote on a Facebook blog, "92 percent are connected
by only four degrees (5 hops). And as Facebook has grown over the
years, representing an ever larger fraction of the global
population, it has become steadily more connected. The average
distance in 2008 was 5.28 hops, while now it is 4.74."
As an example, when I went to Manila for the first time, I sat
down with the experts in the community and we had them each pull up
facebook and provide their names. One by one we went through the
list and it was incredible how we had connections through MVP leads
in China and Singapore and SharePoint User group connections with
Microsoft with as many as 11 connections to their SharePoint
Microsoft Technical Account Manager or local Office Productivity
Product Management lead. So in the Philippines the SharePoint
community is now very well connected with 2 degrees in many cases
to the leadership, but even prior to our arrival the group was well
connected with 3 degrees.
Three degrees isn't just something cool and mean we're small. It
means better access to information. When a CU has a serious
regression, just posting a blog is sometimes not enough. It's about
sharing and disseminating this information through our networks to
the communities around the globe. I personally have had a personal
goal to be the best connected SharePoint guy for quite some time.
Some would scoff and say I'm addicted to facebook, twitter and
social networks, but personally it's more about making friends and
real connections all over the world. I've travelled to over 100
countries in my quest to connect the SharePoint community and build
a more cohesive community where we can openly share information
with each other. Compare this map of where I've been, to the map
further below of where my friends are.
Oleson was a speaker at the European SharePoint Conference
2011. Why not keep up to date with Joel's amazing
work by joining our community
or by following us on twitter or facebook!