I’m reading The Tipping Point & I just finished the chapter on Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen. A couple of ideas occurred to me, & here’s where I hope that some poor PhD student in search of a dissertation topic is reading this.

Question: In what ways are Connectors like Boundary Objects? What can we learn about Connectors by treating them like Boundary Objects, and vice versa?

Question, inspired by my recent reading of We The Media: Mavens are collectors of information, but also have a desire to pass information on to others. Blogs can be tools for information dissemination, and there are other tools that can serve this purpose. How can blogs (and other tools) be framed as venues for Mavens, or Mavens be encouraged to use blogs (and other tools)? In other words, how can situations or contexts be set up that enable individuals who have a desire to disseminate information to use tools that will lower the bar for them to do so? If Mavens have this altruistic streak, it should by all means be encouraged.

Finally, Gladwell relates a story about Lois Weisberg, a sort of über-Connector in Chicago. The story goes, Arthur C. Clarke calls her up one day when he’s in town and asks if there’s anyone in Chicago that he should meet. So Weisberg ends up with Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein hanging out in her living room. (And how much do I wish I were a fly on the wall in that room?) The story goes on with Weisberg saying:

“Then they called over to me and they said, Lois… I can’t remember the word they used. They had some word for me. It was something about how I was the kind of person who brings people together.”

I’d bet a substantial sum of money that the word they used was yenta.