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Six Degrees
by Asa Butcher
2007-01-30 08:18:29
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Do you believe that everybody on this planet knows one another through only six people? For example, my uncle's workmate's friend's mother's college friend's mate personally knows George W. Bush or has the direct phone number of the Pope. Whether you believe Dr. Milgram's theory or not, the six degrees of separation concept has been adapted into a variety of arenas since its creation over forty years ago.

One of these is the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" invented in 1994, which challenges you to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon through no more than six connections, where two actors are connected if they have appeared in a movie together. If you take the late Charlie Chaplin, you'd have to say he was in A Countess from Hong Kong with John Sterland, who was in Dark Corners with Michael J. Reynolds, who was in Where the Truth Lies with Kevin Bacon. Easy!

To Kevin Bacon's surprise, the Six Degrees phenomenon didn't vanish into the ether, but has continued to grow in popularity, so on January 18th he decided to use it to create a charitable social network and inspire online charity donations called SixDegrees.org. However, the website inspires online donation in a slightly different way by using almost sixty celebrities to highlight their favourite charities, such as Nicole Kidman (UNIFEM), Robert Duvall (Pro Mujer), Ricky Gervais (American Friends of Cancer Relief MacMillan Fund) and Colin Firth (Oxfam-America Inc.)

Each celebrity's nominated charity is promoted on the SixDegrees.org site and visitors can then choose to support their favourite star's choice. Yet there is another twist to the concept, with Kevin Bacon encouraging everyone to be celebrities for their own causes by joining the Six Degrees movement. Bacon will match the charitable dollars raised by the top six non-celebrity fundraisers with grants of up to $10,000 each.

"People give to charity because someone they know or respect asks them. So charities are increasingly looking to their supporters - not just themselves - to raise awareness and money online. That means both celebrities and everyday people can make an enormous difference for people in need," said Bill Strathmann, CEO of Network for Good, the Internet's leading non-profit charitable resource and partner in Kevin Bacon's cause.

Non-celebrity fundraisers can create a Charity Badge and promote their own charity of choice via their blog, website or email encouraging family, friends and strangers to donate whatever they can afford. Through SixDegrees.org, fundraisers can upload their own photos and stories about their efforts raising money for the cause close to their heart.

After only a few weeks, SixDegrees.org has raised $72,529.00 and has captured the imagination of thousands of web users. "SixDegrees.org is about using the idea that we are all connected to accomplish something good…It is my hope that Six Degrees will soon be something more than a game or a gimmick. It will also be a force for good, by bringing a social conscience to social networking," explained Kevin Bacon in the press release.

If you want to get involved, then visit the following link and take the first steps at developing your social conscience:


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