You just can't control the world of online social networking.
It's a lesson I learned while on the phone today with Michel Leblanc. He was letting me know that after reading my Blog posting on LinkedIn - LinkedIn Made Me Loose My Mind - he decided to give it a go.
You can read about his exploits (in French) here: Linkedin, le Myspace des gens d'affaires.
I know what Michel is talking about. I went from a small network of about eighty people to two-hundred first-degree contacts - but that's just the beginning.
Michel's network is now exploding too - lots of new contacts who know lots of new contacts. The net result? There's this invisible Long Tail of LinkedIn that is now working in my favor. As Martin expands his network, my network expands exponentially simply because we are connected.
This sort of democratization of contacts and personal networks is all powerful. I was goofing around on the LinkedIn search engine, and I'm stumped. If there's a brand or company that I'm thinking of, someone associated to it is never more than two degrees away from my personal network.
When marketers are looking for ways to connect to people, there may be a model in identifying individuals who can connect them to the right network. It's what Malcolm Gladwell talks about in The Tipping Point, only this is faster and geographically agnostic.
Does LinkedIn have the potential to flip the funnel on The Tipping Point?