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Austin Celebrates Six Degrees in SXSW
By: Cindy Wendland
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The South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin features an interactive track that includes the “Soap Lady,” gaming awards, acting workshops, and more. This year it includes Kevin Bacon on Six Degrees turning 20 years old.

Six degrees is the concept that everyone and everything are connected with six or fewer steps by way of introduction. It is a social phenomenon that has survived for 20 years, has been made into games and books, and is a resource that connects grassroots charities with celebrities to amplify their cause.

Kevin Bacon was at first horrified by the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, where he was connected to other celebrities by six degrees. He later decided to embrace it and use it to give a conscience to social networking. Through SixDegrees.org, charities can submit a request for a celebrity to appear at their event or cause, and celebrities can pop in or do a shout out to help elevate the charity’s message. It allows people to connect on an interest level and use social media for charitable good.

Six degrees has gone further for charities and connected with Crowdrise, an online charity fundraising platform. They remind us that it’s a small world, and we can make a difference. Stories abound of all who have used both to make a difference.

It’s impressive that 20 years later, six degrees has evolved to a social media concept to accomplish something good. We’ve all heard "it’s not what you know but who you know." In the case of six degrees, it’s who you know six times over.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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