Assume there is a class of a hundred students. Naturally, they won't all be friends - or, at least, good friends - with each other and all hang out together; they will form small groups of, say, five to ten persons.

However, there is always that one person (X) who is able to be liked by most people and who also tends to not have any problem with anyone. So, he/she has (a) friend(s) in each of the groups. Those friends would serve as the "points of contact" for the groups. So, if, for instance, X wants to invite the whole class to his/her birthday party, he/she can just invite the points of contact and tell them to tell the rest of their respective bunches to come too.

So, basically, X is at or around the centre of the network in his/her class. He/she might not necessarily be the only one, there might be a few others with that same characteristic.

What is the technical and/or non-technical term for a person like X?

P.S. By "social networks", I'm obviously not referring to online social network services (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

  • In a network where one (and only one) node connects to all the others, it's called the hub. You might get away with using that in the context of multiple hubs, but other than that the best I can come up with is primary node (as opposed to secondary nodes, which have fewer connections). Jun 23, 2016 at 17:33
  • 3
    Non-technical is just 'popular'.
    – Mitch
    Jun 23, 2016 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


If you don't mind a somewhat technical term (but maybe not "dictionary" official, social network analysis science being quite new) you can call them




Example of use from a site on Social Network analysis where you can find these terms and other related: connectors, mavens, leaders, bridges, isolates...

"In the kite network (below), Diane has the most direct connections in the network, making hers the most active node in the network. She is a 'connector' or 'hub' in this network." enter image description here

  • 1
    I thought that it was Malcolm Gladwell who popularized connector.
    – choster
    Aug 23, 2016 at 2:19
  • +1 for hub; connector sounds more like a connecting line, but that may just be me. Nov 21, 2016 at 7:16

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