The Nexus Book

Many years ago, I noticed that most of my friends already seemed to know each other. And if I met someone new, they already seemed to know people in common with me. Part of that is because I have a pretty diverse set of interests, and part of that is because there seems to be a very strong overlap between certain sets of communities. For example, if someone goes to Science Fiction conventions, they are also likely involved in some sort of historical reenactment, and are more likely than most to be involved in the pagan, poly, bdsm, bisexual or ather alternative lifestyle communities.

Noticing this overlap caused me to create the Nexus book, as an unscientific method of mapping out these social intersections. The Nexus Book is a party game that has been going on since September 1997. Each page is a separate category representing a social group, interest, or activity. If you identify with that group, sign your name on that page. If you don't know what it is, then it's very unlikely that you're part of that group.

Since the book has been in existence for quite a few years, and has been brought to many disparate social events, the social mapping it facilitates is quite entertaining, especially when people see the names of old friends that they've lost track of in it.

It would be a natural for an online application and I've even posted some ideas on the subject. While many of the online communities are similar, I don't think that any really take full advantage of the potential.

In theory, people would add categories to the nexus book which have a high overlap with other categories, since the goal is to find social intersections. Many of the categories are those, and many seem to be examples of folks trying to find the most obscure categories they can. I collected a snapshot of the categories. Copyright (C) 2005 Larry Colen
Most recently modified by lrc at Wed Aug 17 22:06:25 PDT 2005