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Idea Malcolm Gladwell didn’t have first

The ultimate connector finally has a project that puts her principles where her mouth is. This fall marks the nationwide opening of Connected, Tiffany Shlain’s new documentary, which explores the history of the ties that bind us. The film has already brought a wave of accolades and invitations, including a Sundance screening and a summons to almost a dozen other festivals. But the real news is that Shlain has bolstered her movie with a kit that includes a DVD, a book, a smartphone app, and conversation cards that are meant, as she says, “to get people talking to one another, no matter where they are.” The idea is that viewers, from techies in SoMa to—who knows?—tribesmen in Sudan, will discuss the movie, multimedia kits at their sides. Global intermediary has a grandiose ring. But it’s a fitting title for Shlain, who founded the Webby Awards and was already a prized LinkedIn contact (adviser to Hillary Clinton; sister-in-law of Albert Brooks) long before Connected was released. A mere six degrees separate us all, and more and more, it seems the common link is Tiffany Shlain.