I know a lot of people around Eve. The number probably barely scratches the surface of the player-base, but it's a fairly reasonable cross-section.
I still keep in touch with some of the people in Atrocitas, and a couple (not many) from Tygris, and a few from Universal Securities. I know in Real Life a guy in Ushra'Khan, a woman in Razor, a couple whose corp just joined KIA after a long struggle in Hydra, a former Veto guy, a guy in BoB, and several members of Under the Wings of Fury (thanks to sharing a flat with one and having a corp meetup in Holland earlier this year). Though them and the corps and alliances I've been with, I've met hundreds of people, some I've liked and stayed in contact with, some I've killed and remember fondly, and some I despised and would happily have slaughtered had we not been mutual blues.
Toward the end of my time in Tygris, Razor and Huzzah/Exqisite Malevolence/Tygris were mutually hostile, and I was relieved to have to take 3 weeks off when I went on holiday, because I didn't feel comfortable the raw vitriol of Tygris & Friends towards the encroachment - such is nullsec life, may I never deal with it again (it later became a party Red Alliance, Pandemic Legion and BoB invited themselves to). I'm in a channel with two guys who joined BoB 'just because', who only a few hours ago dove headfirst into M-O and H-W; there's a guy in another channel who is in Triumvirate and was commenting on the blobs.
I get to hear bits and snatches of all the excitement that goes on elsewhere. It's nice to get a feel for what happens in the virtual world around us and compare that to the constant changes that eventually show up on the maps; it's fun to hear different sides of the same story, in much the same way that comes through other Eve-bloggers' writing. The Eve universe is as small as the Real World, if not smaller - the former Veto member I know flew with UWoF about a year before I started playing.
Hmm, we should put together a Six Degrees of Separation for Eve, sometime! Maybe with an addition for famous events you experienced secondhand through being in convo with people at the time...