metric: average connectedness

networking

DEFINITION

individual connectedness (IC) of a person of an event is defined by what percentage of the total group of attendees you know.  where “know” is defined as “would be comfortable approaching and having at least a five minute conversation with.  have spent more than 5 minutes in 1-1 communication with.” more so than just knowing someone’s name.

average connectedness (AC) of an event is defined as the average (mean) of the individual connectedness.

EXAMPLE CALCULATION – journey to the end of the night 2011 (numbers approximate; please don’t grill me on how well each person knows each other)

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individual connectedness:

mark: knows wendy, tim, mitch, angeles, james of 13 other attendees = 5/13 = 38%
wendy: 7/13
rachelle: 2/13
dave: 2/13
tim: 5/13
colleen: 1/13
mitch: 4/13
bristin: 3/13
angeles: 12/13
etan: 2/13
patrick: 2/13
james: 12/13
zach: 4/13
mars: 4/13

average connectedness: sum of all divided by 14 = 65/13/14 = 36% (ignoring the fact that the numerator is odd……..) (i would argue fairly low; definitely a “worlds colliding” situation)

WHEN YOU CAN USE IT

describing “flavors” of parties/introvert self-selection.  i have several introvert friends where meeting people at loud house parties is not their scene.  i struggle because on some levels i invite them (out of courtesy) but don’t particularly want them to come because i know that they would be miserable.  IC is an easy way to tell them this.  everyone/introverts should have IC thresholds that a party must exceed for them to attend.  “oh, i’ll only know 20% of the people?  i’ll pass.”

AC is useful only if you believe that there is a difference between “you won’t know anyone there” vs. “everyone won’t know anyone there”.  to some degree, i agree, splitting hairs, but going to a party where you don’t know anyone but AC is high is arguably very different than going to a party where AC is very low.  people are much more open to meeting new people and are in the same boat as you.  “yeah, i’ll only know 20% of the people, but AC is only 20%, so i’ll fit right in!”

when your IC is much higher than AC. (e.g., my friday night, when i play party host at my house.  IC=80%, AC=30%)

not ideal because you’re stretched really thin and need to say hi to a lot of people/need to play connector.  how to have numerous short but highly fulfilling conversations.  none of this “FUCK it’s really COLD in sf wtf!?!?!?” or “man, i am druuuuunk” business. 

when your IC is much lower than AC. (e.g., my saturday night, when i am going to a someone’s house party.  IC=15%, AC=70%)

not ideal because you have to be ready to bust down doors and get your aggressively social game face on.  elbow your way into conversations.  ugh, really freaking scary. 

anyway, mentally prepared.  both will be pretty socially taxing in different ways.  psyched for the weekend. 

NEXT STEPS

different scores based on how well you know people.  i think it would be interesting comparing different types of AC scores by varying the definition of “knowing” above.  you could have:

  • AC1 (can attach names to faces, knows 1-2 facts about them)
  • AC2 (5 minute 1-1 conversation)
  • AC3 (spent over 20 hours with them)

what does it mean when AC1 is very close to AC3?  when AC1=AC3?  how does that change the nature of the event?  arguably not much, though i definitely know way more names of gay people than i would like to let on.  but an event with high AC3 is arguably much more enjoyable/relaxed/familiar than high AC1 but low AC3 parties, which are much more serendipitous/exciting/who knows what will happen. 

how socially aggressive the group is.  arguably a more important metric for the flavor of a house party is how friendly the people are vs. how many people you know. 

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