I’ve been considering blogging seriously for probably 6 months. Lots of reading and research later – the final push has come from Mitch Joel’s excellent book “Six Pixels of Separation”. I’ve said to my colleagues working on VizWho that once I’d finished his book – I would finally get cracking on the blog I’ve been going on about! And I have….

The book is in no way specifically about Personal Networking – it’s much more about your on-line presence being a major part of how people judge you. However, in the final chapter – an inspirational “miracle” for me. The very last section is called “Pushing Out on to the Horizons” – in which he describes “the ten emerging trends in a Six Pixels of Separation World”. In at number 4 is “Levels of Connection” (reproduced with kind permission of Mitch).

“Not all “friends” are created equal. Somewhere, someone (hopefully skilled in both the art of computer programming and in how networks are formed) is beginning to unravel what would be considered strong links that individuals have versus very weak ones.

Because many people are focussed on “how many” friends they have instead of the quality of links, understanding whom to trust (and who trusts them) is very complicated.

The best connections are the real and authentic ones. For your business to grow by using online social networking and the other digital channels, you are going to need a way to understand more about the individuals you are connecting to than how many connections they have. The key to success is in understanding the quality and different levels of trust the individuals have within their own social graphs. Just like search engine results have some kind of algorithm behind them that quantifies why some things rank higher than others, soon the same type of indexing will be done on individuals and the company they keep. How highly would you and your network rank in this type of environment?”

Mitch has got it very right – and I hope that I can give some energy to unravel this.

Thank you Mitch