Thursday, January 18, 2007

Six Degrees

During the winter intensive, Professor Van Alstyne described a part of his research where you identify "betweeners", or those in an organization that are gatekeepers to specific divisions. Using these "betweeners" is the shortest path of communication to the destination. This path supports the concept of "six degrees of separation".

1 comment:

Thanh said...

This ties in really well with some of the concepts from Malcolm Gladwells's The Tipping Point, which was also mentioned in class. Gladwell's "connectors" are the "betweeners" you mentioned; if we're really moving toward a more collaborative enterprise, then those are the folks the enterprise will require to make sure the flow of information happens.

There's been a lot of work done in the terms of creating knowledge management systems and skills inventories and such where people can find the right people, but it's still a pull system -- you have to know what you're looking for. Maybe we'll one day develop the AI to do the pushing as well.