We all know them. Connectors are those social butterflies that don't know a stranger. Not only do Connectors make friends easily, they are also good at doing just what their name implies. They connect people who can mutually benefit from knowing each other. Maybe the commonality is nationality, maybe it's life stage, and sometimes it's people doing the same job in two different companies. The breadth of things that align us are vast, and it can take the help of a Connector to put two and two together.
The whole idea of the Connector was presented in Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point. In the book he brings up a few key roles that people play as trends develop; Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen.
Salesmen use their charisma and charm to persuade others.
Gladwell makes a point that people choose to socialize with others who share similar activities. He says that Connectors have a special gift for bringing people together, and they know lots of people from all walks of life. Gladwell also tells the story of an experiment done that developed the concept of Six Degrees of Separation, that none of us is more that six hops from knowing any other person.
Connectors are not only people now, but they come now come in the form of websites. We are connecting through all the social media channels and finding friends and common friends we didn't know we had before. Just last week, I got a message from a facebook friends asking me how I knew someone that appeared in the "Friends In Common" section. The common friend and I used to work together, and the friend that sent the email practices yoga with me regularly. Without the help of facebook, we might have never known we shared a mutual friend. Now take that story and multiply it by the number of facebook or LinkedIn or other social network friends you have, if you participate. That can give you an idea of the powerful medium before us.
“The closer someone is to a Connector, the more powerful or the wealthier or the more opportunities he or she gets.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell