Saturday, November 26, 2011

Makin' Bacon With Facebook

Ever heard of the Kevin Bacon Game?
Connecting a movie star to Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon if they're been in a film with him...the higher the number of “hops” between an actor and him, the higher that actor’s Kevin Bacon Number is. [Here's a link to the Oracle Of Bacon, where (using the International Movie Data Base or IMDb) you can find out your favourite actor's Kevin Bacon Number!]
The game's origin is a 1960s experiment which claimed every living person is connected to any other through only six friends. Now, according to a recent study, Facebook has reduced those "six degrees of separation" to only four! The study shows 99.6% of all pairs of users are connected by paths with five degrees (six hops), 92% are connected by only four degrees (five hops), with the average distance between users getting smaller over time.
Facebook also put out another study about the average number of friends on Facebook. According to that, 10% of people have less than ten friends, 20% have less than 25 friends, while 50% have over 100 friends. The study shows even in an online social network supposedly crossing the boundaries of geography and age, people tend to have friends their own age and in the same country.
The research also shows that if you limit the analysis to a single country, the “four degrees of separation”
theory shrinks even further, with most pairs of people being only separated by three degrees.
And all of these contacts are real genuine deep-and-meaningful friends. Riiiiiight.
Anyway...Kevin Bacon's coming to my barbeque next weekend: nyah-nyah! (if you don't know who he is, maybe you should've skipped this entire post).

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