Three Degrees of LinkedIn Bacon

Searching for business contacts on LinkedIn can be thought of as joining two moviestars via Kevin Bacon, center of the entertainment universe. Except with LinkedIn, you are limited to three degrees of separation and not six.

The people within that 3-degree universe (your LinkedIn network) represent the sum total of your direct connections, plus their connections, and so on to three levels. If a contact is outside that your network, you can only see their title on their profile, not their full name.

Let's experiment with the effect each connection you create brings to the size and scope of your network.

If we assume the average LinkedIn user has 50 connections, the number of contacts you have the ability to search through is 125,000 as your network size would be 50^3.

Think of your network as the small part of a floating iceberg sticking up above sea level, yet the large number of contacts are still under water where you cannot reach. Each connection you make lifts the iceberg a little bit, opening you to hundreds of new potential business partners. The effect is exponential.

These numbers are very important as the scope of the Peopletoucher Search Engine is limited by the size of your network.

In later posts we will talk about ways to increase your connection count to expand your professional network. Until then, take a look at your network stats.

Comments

Actually it would be greater than that since each "level" would be added to the next:

50 + (50x50) + (50x50x50) = 127550

Well, my question is how do add as many as you can when you don't know their email address?
LinkedIn does not allow me anymore to add more connections automatically..

Well, my question is how do add as many as you can when you don't know their email address?
LinkedIn does not allow me anymore to add more connections automatically..

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It takes a little more effort if the contact is outside your network but all in all it works great.

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