„Six Degrees of Separation“ is a game associated with the American actor Kevin Bacon. But the notion was first introduced by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Korinty already in 1929. The two characters of his short story present each other with the challenge of establishing a link to any person on Earth regardless of geography, age or race merely through 5 personal acquaintances.
In 1967, Stanley Milgrim, a research psychologist in Harvard, began a series of experiments by the name of „The Small World Experiments“. The findings of these experiments were that, on average, any person in the USA, could be connected to any other person through 6 friends or links.
In 1994, three college students watched an interview with the actor Kevin Bacon. They set in motion the game „6 Degrees of Separation“. The player had to link any actor in Hollywood to Kevin Bacon through their films in 6 steps or less. The students turned the game into a website and other websites followed. The game became an urban myth, so scientists conducted more experiments to test it. In one experiment, 40 random people from all over the world were chosen to pass on a package to Boston. The results were the same: most packages were delivered to Boston in 6 steps or less!
In a world of 7 billion people, everyone knows someone who knows someone and so on until, within 6 steps, someone knows you. Friends and neighbours and relatives on the other side of the planet, everybody counts, and thanks to technology, anybody can be linked to anybody else through random links and hubs in no time at all! The power of networks, or the friend-of-a-friend principle, is powerful!
Isn‘t this a beautiful notion, the connectedness of us all?! Everybody you meet or talk to knows somebody who knows somebody and this is what makes the networks so powerful. You are only 6 handshakes away from any other person on earth! Just a single random link or hub can make a big difference! And everybody can move your package forward!
But here‘s the best part, you too are potentially a hub in a open-networks world! So, go out, meet new people and make new friends! Whenever you are of service to others, you are networking and what goes around comes around, you stand to gain a great deal by moving other people‘s packages forward!