Yahoo, Facebook Put "Six Degrees Of Separation" Theory To The Test

Brad Chacos

Hey, Tremors fans; we still don't know if you're actually only six connections away from having a BBQ with Kevin Bacon in your backyard. If you're looking to advance the technology that could one day put that question to rest, though, you should check out the Small World Experiment. No, it doesn't have anything to do with Disney rides; it's a joint venture between Yahoo! and Facebook to put the whole "six degrees of separation" thing to the test by tapping into the social network's 750 million member-strong user base.

The project's already recruited a bunch of targets. Now, it's looking for senders, or people who are willing to tap into their social networks to help track down the targets. The Small World Experiment will keep count of exactly how many degrees of separation exist between the initial sender and the target to figure out how many degrees of separation exist between them.

You'll be asked to identify which of your Facebook friends is most likely to know the target. That person will be sent a message from the project, and they will be asked to select one of their friends who is likely to know the target. The daisy chain continues until the target is eventually reached – at least in theory.

Sound interesting? Check out Yahoo!'s Small World Experiment page to join in on the fun.

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