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Leverage the Obama Effect in Social Learning

OK, admittedly I didn’t really invent a new buzz-term. I just adapted the famous idea of 6 degrees of seperation (or Kevin Bacon?) to make a point: I “know” Obama!

…and so do you, probably. And if you don’t know Obama, you probably know many other interesting people. And that’s what makes social learning so interesting!


According to Jan Vermieren and Bert Verdonck in their book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” (follow link for free download) the real power of any network lies in the 2nd degree. Not who you know, but who THEY know. You can see this in action in the picture below…

I know Andy, Andy knows “Milly from This Life”, “Milly” knows Jack Davenport, who was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who funds Schwarzenegger, who is in politics with Obama. Voila  ! 6 degrees!


Apply this principle to the learning world and what do you get?

  • Endless possibilities to learn FROM and TO other people
  • A network of experts at your finger-tips
  • Learning at the speed of the internet


If you can leverage this principle in your corporate or personal learning initiatives, you will be rewarded with:

  • Lower investment in learning initiatives that call on external expertise
  • Greater involvement from learning participants who use their own resources to help themselves and others learn
  • Deeper and broader levels of knowledge
  • More possibility to challenge attitude and ideas
  • Innovation?
  • Business development?
  • …etc…


For a simple, but concrete idea of using a Social Network in a formal learning initiative, read my other post here


Thanks for reading !



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