6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, from Kevin Bacon’s Perspective (Unedited Notes)

Initially feeling like it was a joke at his expense, Kevin Bacon actually wanted nothing to do with the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. After 20 years, he eventually came to make it something even more wonderful, and really helps connect people.

First guest, Lance Ulanoff

We’re now, with social media, getting closer to really seeing the Six-Degrees play out in real life. LinkedIn actually uses the idea literally by showing your connections as degrees. We’re experiencing this digitally, but it’s truly transformative as an idea.

To go from the game to something that is real, is a way of making more connections. Eventually we’ll all become so close together because of social media that we’ll all be only one degree away from Kevin Bacon. The idea resonates and works and carries on because it’s such a great fundamental process for social media. We’re constantly trying to keep the degrees that we have and continue to grow our networks.

Kevin Bacon did find the game useful once because he says he sometimes forgets whether he’s worked with someone or not. He says he’d check the call sheet on the way in, and look up their Bacon number. This way he’ll know whether to say “Hey great to meet you,” or “Hey, great to see you again.” Hilarious.

… and then came SixDegrees.org

Worked with Network for Good to launch SixDegrees.org to see the connection between celebrities and the good work they do.

Next Guest, Dan McCaid

Kevin Bacon has helped raise more than $5 m for charity with the help of Network for Good. SixDegrees.org is trying to help connect celebrities to grassroots causes to help bring more attention to those causes with the help of celebrities. Cool idea.

Now we’re watching this:

This PSA, while hilarious, helped raise a whole lot of money for small local charities. SixDegrees is really trying to double down and do good wherever possible, and that’s a far cry from the original game.

Next Guest, Felicia Day

She’s got the experience taking television to the internet. Social media has changed the landscape of connections. Everyone in the chain of shared information is equal. The connections have to be in place in order for ideas to be passed. She’s producing shows on the internet, and she’s finding niches and has learned that these niches are often connected—whether by an idea, a person, or any other way. Each person’s attention is a vector to another person, and she’s learned to leverage that to narrow the degrees between people and groups.

She’s also got a charity cause with the Stray Cat Alliance and other musical charities. One thing she finds neat about the Kevin Bacon Effect is that sense of empowerment that local advocacy can make a real difference. No one is an individual, we’re all connected to each other.

Lance also would like to see more of the social networks leveraging their networks to create good. They’ve got a lot of power because of their numbers and connections, and they could work towards something bigger than just that.

Felicia is currently 2 degrees away from Kevin Bacon through two different people, but she’d like to be one degree away by being on The Following as either a cult member or a corpse. She just played dead on the floor as a demonstration. “Apparently you also do your own stunts.”—Kevin Bacon

The internet has become inundated with content, and it’s hard to tell what’s standing out and what’s being missed. Kevin wonders if the Six Degrees idea would have stuck if it came around today instead of 20 years ago.

Lance thinks IMDB may not have survived if not for the game. At the time when it came out, IMDB was a big cheat sheet for the Six Degrees game.

Next Guest, Maisie Williams! WHAT?!

Her Bacon Number is a 3. She’s got a tortoise, Bonnie, as a pet. We also just learned the difference between a turtle and a tortoise.

Talking to the Audience…

A guy named Kevin Bacon calls himself a 0 on the Bacon scale haha. That’s funny. Apparently they’ve talked before.

We’re apparently going through audience members to talk about their own Bacon Numbers.

Question from audience: How do you balance wanting to connect with your fans on social media with your personal privacy? Maisie uses Twitter, Vine, and Instagram for public use, while using Facebook for her private friends. That’s how she keeps some separation. Kevin Bacon’s worst nightmare is the same as my mom’s when it comes to social media.. people from your past may contact you. He does generally find social media to be a supportive place to be. If he’s having a bad day it’s a good place to go to get a pat on the back which he appreciates.

That was great. Adding some pics and posting. We were also just Vined with Kevin Bacon. I guess that makes me 1st Degree.

Kevin Bacon Panel

Kevin Bacon Illustrated