Many thanks for this insightful piece David. I am pleased to find I was an unwitting link in your chain.
One thought jumps out at me when you talk about the role of connectors (which I concur with by the way): What's different?
My perspective draws from the global health arena, but I am sure it's shared by many...
Until recently, mechanisms through which affected countries, communities and their people have been able to directly share the most relevant lessons and experiences with one another have been limited by the costs of communications and travel. Even the exchange of basic health-related information has relied heavily on international organizations as intermediaries. It still does.
But what your analysis reveals is that the disintermediating potential of global electronic communications is finally happening.
And it is not simply that institutional intermediaries are being replaced by individual 'connectors'. The essential requirement for connectors *and* comment also challenges the very idea that information has an inherent value in itself – the foundation of the hegemonic “we have the essential information, and you need it” models. This has to be a change for the better.
The World Bank report readership survey and your mapping of this communication chain are more than interesting: They are rare, inconspicuous tell-tales that show us before anything else that the wind is changing.