Perks of a Long Last Name

I’m not a big social network guy. I do have a Facebook account, and a while back I joined LinkedIn at the urging of my brother, but didn’t really do anything beyond sending invites to a bunch of people in my address book and letting it sit there. Over the past week though, I’ve been trudging through the list of people who work at my company and who went to MSU at the same time I did. The list of people who attended MSU at some point between 1992-1996 who are on LinkedIn is currently 8494 people long. Which brings me to my point. I am not likely to remember all the Tims and Johns that I went to school with, especially not when browsing through 284 pages of names. But I am likely to remember people with names like Cruikshank and Chapin, and those people are more than likely going to remember Dauernheim. As a result, in the past week, I’ve expanded my first degree “network” by 50%, and my third degree network has added over 22000 people since October 22. Interestingly enough, my connections go from DC to Pennsylvania, to Michigan, to Kansas, all the way out to California and Washington. Good news if I ever want to move to Seattle.
By the way, it is seriously creepy sometimes how LinkedIn figures out that you might know people. I guess because I let it pull my GMail address book, and GMail automatically adds people to the address book, even if you didn’t email them directly, but that only explains some of it. The woman my wife worked with when she moved to DC 10 years ago? Never would have thought of her, but as I said before, she’ll probably remember my wife’s last name.