Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople Among us?

In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell presents a fantastic grouping of stories that are all interconnected relating to what makes anything turn into an epidemic.  From syphilis to Sesame Street to Paul Revere’s message, what is it that makes a phenomenon turn into an epidemic?  Social media has become one of these epidemics, but how did that happen?  Most likely because people who are considered by Gladwell to be connectors, mavens and salespeople got their hands on the concept.  Connectors are the types of people who know everyone.  Think about your circle of friends–is there one person who knows everyone else?  Whenever you go out, this person probably runs into someone who they know and has a brief conversation.  Next come the mavens.  These people are those who collect information and store it away in their minds for use whenever it becomes appropriate.  Mavens are people who know everything about everything and are willing to share whenever you need assistance.  As related to social media, mavens were probably the people who found out about sites like Facebook first and shared it with a few friends, some of whom were probably connectors.  Finally come the salespeople.  I’m sure that we have all run into the traditional definition of a salesperson–think car salesman.  In the social epidemic sense, though, salespeople are slightly different.  They love to talk, and want to share their knowledge and any new information that they have found with as many people as they can.  Salespeople are not only the talkers, they are also extremely convincing.  A good salesperson takes the time to get to know you and explains how their product, service or bit of information fits into your life.  In terms of social media, the salespeople were most likely present on college campuses and had the ability to convince all their friends to go and join Facebook because they couldn’t live without it.

Now that Facebook is an established site and a huge part of our culture, I don’t know how we could live without it!  Apparently, the connectors, mavens and salespeople did a great job because the Facebook epidemic sure did tip.

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