The other day I was wondering why I’m not as well networked as some other friends. Don’t get fooled by my orkut statistics here, for most of the 750 friends there are “acquaintances”, with a considerable number of friends and a very small set of “good friends”.
And going through my list of friends showed an interesting trend – I share at least one “affiliation group” with most of them (affiliation group typically being one of my schools or workplaces). Where I fall behind some others is in my lack of speed when it comes to “path compression”. “Path compression” is a process where a friend’s friend becomes a friend. In my case, in most cases, friends’ friends end up as acquaintances and the relationship isn’t of much “value” without the “linking friend”.
In order to convert someone from an acquaintance to a friend it’s imperative to spend a considerable amount of time with him/her (at least i’m hard to get along with, so it takes people some time before they like me). And looking back at my “socializing”, one pattern i’ve observed is that I usually go out in a clique. And end up spending more time with people I already know, thus not adding quantitative value to my network (of course qualitative value addition are there).
Maybe I should start going out more in looser groups, say with friends and friends’ friends. Or attend these large arbit gatherings. Anyways.
It’s pertinent to mention here that I’ve once been part of a party at a table in a restaurant where the “X knows Y” graph was linear! it was at Mocha in Mumbai last may. I knew
Needless to say the gathering dissolved within ten minutes.