Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Six degrees of social engineering or the meme Mexican wave

A few years ago I joined in the Small World six degrees of separation experiment, where you try to get in touch with other volunteers via the people who the people you know think might know the people they know. My attempts all failed at the third or fourth hop because busy people who haven’t volunteered for a social experiment don’t put a lot of time into finding the next likely candidate.

Scoble’s suggestion for getting attention by gaming the blog search system (and testing out blog search) with a nonsense word like Brrreeeport makes me think of what the researchers said about weak links (people you don’t know very well) providing good connections to people you don’t know at all. People who comment in your journal might be people you know well (more likely on LJ because of the community feel) but often they’ll be weak links. The Mexican wave of people shouting Brrreeeport will showcase lots of people who read Scoble and if the post they create is more than just referencing the word Brrreeeport it might get people to click through to them, or to pick the meme up from them. But blogging feels more like a meritocracy than an oligarchy to me; as long as people can find you, they’ll read you for what you say, not who you know.
Tags: blogging, brrreeeport, memage, meme, search, sixdegrees, technology

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