Connector

six degrees of kevin bacon

Connectors are said by author Malcolm Gladwell to be people in a community who know large numbers of people and who are in the habit of making introductions. A connector is essentially the social equivalent of a computer network hub. Connectors usually know people across an array of social, cultural, professional, and economic circles, and make a habit of introducing people who work or live in different circles. Although connectors are rare—only one in several thousand people might be thought of as a true connector they are, like mavens (experts) and salesmen, very important in the healthy function of civil society and business. Connectors are also important in trendsetting.

Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term connector in his 2000 book ‘The Tipping Point.’ Paul Revere, Roger Horchow, Ahmed Ibrahim, and Lois Weisberg are notable connectors. Gladwell also suggests that mavens may act most effectively when in collaboration with connectors – i.e., those people who have a wide network of casual acquaintances by whom they are trusted, often a network that crosses many social boundaries and groups. Connectors can thus easily and widely distribute the advice or insights of a maven.

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