After four hours of networking, hob-knobbing and mingling at the Social Media Club of San Francisco’s biggest event of the year, “Social Media and the News” last night, I discovered a stark reality about social networking:
The proximity of interacting online and offline in social media is a lot closer than we think. About six degrees of separation closer. By some way of introduction, friend-of-a-friend connection, or chain of six total steps, we were all somehow “Six Degrees of Separation” from the rest of the SF planet.
How could the San Francisco networking world be such a small world, with a population of about 1M people?
Quickly glancing around the crowded social media event at all the shiny, lit-up faces and fashionable outfits that were no doubt just plucked from those expensive fashion racks, my entire social media career perception has shifted in a matter of seconds.
Could I be just a few seats away from the one Mr. Right? One chair over from a new future friend? Joking unassumingly with a Mr. Future CEO Employer? Secretly talking to the next hot-shot social media event promoter?
There was only one way to find out: Test the theory TONIGHT. See how many connections and small-world-coincidences I could find at this random 200-person social media networking event in downtown San Francisco.
He asked if I had electronics experience. I said:
“No, not really, but I had learned after years of social media creation and publishing what made people tick –– even electronics enthusiasts.”
That was the key: transferable social media savvy. We ended up talking for 2 hours that night out on the patio underneath the San Francisco moon (sounds cliche, but 100% true!) about everything under the sun, I mean eBay marketplace. From the latest vintage items selling at auction to the PR team sending him an email about Pharrell wanting an eBay store to an upcoming X-BOX One event I should go to.
Wait –– an interview with the entire eBay social team and an invite to an industry electronics event on his dime? Was this for real, or was he expensing the office account for potential candidates? Either way I was intrigued and slipped him my business card faster than you could say “eBay Electronics Blog.”
Looks like the “Six Degrees of Separation” theory worked? I met my future employer in 3 steps.
I don’t know if this will happen again, or if the theory holds water everywhere you go, or if you could argue that social media is changing the “Six Degrees” to “Three Degrees”. You can agree to disagree, but I think we can all agree that social media networking is a powerful, underestimated connector.