Six degrees of seperation – science of a connected age

A couple of weeks back I had attended a Yahoo Big Thinker seminar. The topic name was “Six Degrees of Separation – The Science of a connected age, and the speaker was Duncan Watts. The agenda was the same as in other seminars, so I was curious enough about the presentation.

On registration we were handed over a goodie, ( mine was a USB Led ) and the seminar kit. As I chatted with my friends there over coffee , I did not have any idea what exactly the speech was on. After the tea, we all sat inside the ball room waiting for the seminar to start off. There were some slides being shown, about Yahoo, and I continued to watch them.

Soon the speaker , Duncan Watts had arrived. He started his speech on the small world theory. He was an amazing speaker, and was very crisp and clean in the entire presentation.

He had addressed one question, that “it is difficult to get a doormans job in New York”. That is because the person who brings in the doorman should be trustworthy.

This statement opened up some interesting questions on semantic search in the Q & A session. How does a web agent validate the trustworthiness of the person.

I guess LinkedIn tries to acheive this by asking the user several questions, when the user requests to add a contact. But it is not fool proof , supposing the user ( A ) knows something about the requested contact ( B ) ; then A has several ways to access B – first he can send a request ; and lets say B accepts the request then A and B are contacts – so this not a fool proof idea either.

I did not get any specific answer in the seminar, what I got was this kind of stuff needs to revisited and someone should come up with a design … so you see thats a long way to go.