10 August 2003

Playing with Friendster all week has led me into some Malcolm Gladwell-esque reveries about Connectors and Connectees and what my real Friendster network, as opposed to the virtual one, would look like. Bessie's refusal to join Friendster means that my online network will forever be a pale shadow of what it might otherwise have been, given that Bessie is the Connector Supreme. (I do, however, sympathize with her reasons for abstaining: she'd spend all of her time writing testimonials and never get any work done. However, she should also know that she should expect to receive many dozens of invitations to Friendster over the next few years if she doesn't join....)

Oddly enough, my most significant Connector these days is Drew. Something about gay men seems to put them at the center of social networks, I guess; after all, I wouldn't know most of the people reading this blog, ultimately, if it hadn't been for Albert (via Robby, via Dave). Last night, for example, I actually managed to get the phone number of a girl at the Beer Garden; she was, no exaggeration, the friend of a friend of a friend of Drew's boy. It's always complicated explaining how you know people through such tenuous connections. In another context, you'd be surprised how often I've had to explain, when asked "How do you know so-and-so?": "Well, her brother and my ex-roommate went to the same math camp...."

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