How To Simplify Social Networking
With one basic algorithm (below) Ron J. Williams hooks people up. First, he launched SnapGoods, a site which helps people share hardware and other equipment; now he has Knodes, a tool for finding the people in your network who care most about any piece of info. "There are two fundamental axes that govern why people open anything online: relevancy to what you do and engagement in your life," Williams says. "With thousands of contacts on social sites, we need personal outreach if we want to get anything done."
A: Availability (geographical closeness)
X: Expertise (relevant background)
I: Influence (know others who matter)
N: Engagement (how in touch you've been)
Graduates from Harvard University with a degree in Economics and East Asian studies
A venture capitalist introduces Williams to Knodes cofounder John Goodwin because they're both "smart trouble makers"
Convinces a stranger on Craigslist to rent him a motorcycle so he can impress his girlfriend; builds SnapGoods.
Gets engaged; debuts Knodes two days later in front of 1,000 New York technologists
Infographic by Brian Rea
A version of this article appears in the June 2012 issue of Fast Company.