Social Capital

April 9, 2003

in Knowledge Innovation

Ross Mayfield provides another interesting model.  It’s worth contrasting it with the comments made by Ton Zijlstra ” in the Role of Blogs and Lilia’s thoughts yesterday. 

Is it a large leap to frame this into social capital?  TOM (top of mind) This presents a static view, while our conversations and connectivity are defined by the perceptions of the moment, our levels of trust and whom and what we are interacting / searching for. 

While “me” centric, social capital exists in the connections; for the most part we personally hold “tacit” understandings based on our exchanges. Explicit capture may be seen as usurping or transferring an individuals social capital.  The potential for “individualism” in this view  should be contrast with a more social autopoiesis (tic?) view. Ie I’m worried that individuals “me” are not reducible to black boxes with inputs and outputs.  Rather they are self-referential systems. 

Social Capital remains in a state of flux, it’s not static, and “events” outside the control of individuals or collaboratives may rapidly shift social capital, dependent on the premise it was established around and current needs of the individuals.  (eg rules just re-written for SC in Iraq) We should consider how to disturb systems.  Thus the investment that is required is one that helps with the “scanning”.  Clearly many systems are developing for “what” is being said.  Not enough is being done to connect people for what they might say to each other. 

If I must make a claim to “me” or my social capital then I must consider “our” social capital.  I sure there are many different strategies.  Some will bridge many circles, others might heavily invest in one.  I don’t know who may help me.  You don’t know how much help I need.  I’d like to move forward on a project to increase unknown “resonance” to aid the perturbing of social systems.  Profiles, levels of access, and an exchange mechanism are available.  (Broadcast!)

Sending and receiving is a mechanistic view of communication and exchanges.  Like trust, the value in different exchanges emerges over time.  Every so often a message resonates with us.  We know every social system posesses some level of shared understanding (just look at the jargon around “Power Laws”) and social practices which define how we operate.  I suspect the “social practice” of sharing rich profiles could be revolutionized if we realized that listening for “whom” would significantly improve our interactions. 

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