M: There is a small number of exceptional people who play a huge role in the transmissions of epidemic ideas. I call them Mavens, Connectors and Salesmen. W: Say it again?

M: Mavens, Connectors and Salesman. Connectors are the kind of people who know everybody. They have extraordinary social ties. Well, if I do this names test in the Manhattan phonebook, and you go down the list. Every time you see a name you know, you give yourself a point. Well, most people score like 25, 30. Someone scores like 120 or 130. That kind of person is incredibly in generating word-of-mouth epidemics. If they like something and get hold of some idea, they can spread 5 or 6 times further than the average person.

W: Who are those people, what defines them?

M: Well, these are extraordinarily social people with a lot of energy who are consumed by the task of getting to know people, of meeting people, of keeping in touch with them. They make phone calls all day long.

W: I am afraid I am one of them.

M: This is not typical behavior. This is a behavior that is actually rare. Most of us don’t do that. And I am someone who is not that way. I can't start a word-of-mouth epidemic because I simply don’t know enough people. I can’t get it outside my own immediate circle of friends. Someone has friends all over the place. They can spread the news about a new restaurant, or a new movie, or something far and wide in a very, very short time.

W: These are the Connectors. Who are the Mavens and who are the Salesmen?

M: The Mavens are people who have specialized knowledge. If you examine why you make certain decisions, why do you shop somewhere, why do you go to a certain restaurant, you’ll find that you are relying on the same person over and over again for recommendations. Those people I call Mavens. My friend Ereal is a Maven, who knows all about the restaurants in lower Manhattan. If I want to know about the hot new restaurant, I call Ereal. Well, all of Ereal’s friends call Ereal, and if you go to restaurants in lower Manhattan and look around the room, you will see friends of Ereal. The restaurant market is an epidemic market, which is controlled by a group of Ereals. I don’t think there are very many of them. There are probably two dozen of them. That’s true of lots of things. That’s true of shopping, and books and movies. If a Maven gets together with a Connector, then you begin see why a word-of-mouth epidemic might happen. Someone who knows everyone in combination with someone who knows everything is a really powerful connection.

W: And then introduce the Salesmen.

M: Well, those people are incredibly persuasive. And again, that’s a very rare and unusual trait.

W: Leaves me out, you see. I can connect, but I can’t sell.

M: Well, they are separate categories. I’ve met with a guy who is known as one of the greatest salesman in America today. When you meet with someone like that, you begin to realize why trans happen. They happen because someone who has this extraordinary natural ability to win you over. When they get hold of an idea, they can really make it go a long way.


1. What’s the main topic of this conversation?

2. Which of the following descriptions does not apply to Connectors?

3. Which of the following statements best defines the Mavens?

4. According to the conversation, which of the following groups does the man’s friend Ereal belong to?

5. What can we tell about all three groups of people?

【解析】本段以对话形式介绍了三种人Maven,Connector,Salesman的含义,及各自对transmissions of epidemic ideas的作用,并给出明确的例证。答题关键在于理解三种人分别有何特征,而问题也基本围绕其定义展开。考生可能会对文中出现的word-of-mouth epidemic等说法不熟悉,但可以根据上下文推断其含义。总体难度适中。