Social Capital

“Education is one thing that no one can take away from you.”

UntitledA month and a half into my social media expedition (following-up on my first post: Going Native -digitally), I am happy to report that I am still here.  Social Media is hard work!

Trying to engage with other netizens can be rewarding.  I found consistent re-tweets of interesting discussions about #WearableTech (or #GeekFashion) in Twitter.  More serious topics on #privacy opens up a network of those interested in the topic.  It is interesting how I am actually learning and developing my own opinions as I further interact, not only with my MACT cohorts, but with total strangers as well.  If I had all the time in the world, I would not even be able to handle all the information (and even just the conversations) on a fraction of my interests.  Becoming busy for a few days (and even just a few hours) can make me miss out on exciting conversations that are happening.  This can be a problem but I do need to be able to let go and let flow…

Trying to engage with other net personalities can also be frustrating and discouraging.  I have been teased and corrected.  However, it is actually worse to be ignored.  Not that I want attention, but it is the purpose of social media to have a conversation (whether meaningful or not).  An interesting experience I had was finding that one of my favourite fiction authors was on Twitter.  I was thrilled to see that he had an account.  Having read all of his books, I thought, agonized and strategized about how I could engage with him (or at least maybe some of his followers as well).  I don’t remember the exact Tweet, but I thought it was pretty smart.  A day… another… then a week or two passed and there was no response.  Not really heartbroken but disappointed for the being ignored, I found out recently that he had passed away months ago.  Bummer!

Regarding the Matthew Effect as it applies to my social media use, I found that numbers alone will not beget numbers.  Proper and strategic steps have to be taken in order to engage.  There are also optimum numbers that should be considered.  As an example, I had quite a number of LinkedIn contacts to start with, however, I may have reached the limits of my network who are already in that platform.   My Twitter experience was the opposite, I did not really ‘know’ anyone on Twitter but my followers relatively and exponentially multiplied because I started from a low number.  Social capital will need to be built-up within these social networks.  

Facebook, my other social network could have experienced better growth if I really wanted to.  I am FB friends with many of my high school friends.   However, I have not really focused on FB even though there are 257 recorded FB members of from my high school class alone.   I might decide to grow my contacts and use my social capital there very soon.



5 thoughts on “Social Capital

  1. Interesting, Leo… too bad about your favorite author though 😦 who was he?

    Like you, I am also ‘exclusionary’ in adding people to my Facebook friends list… but then I think there is someting to be said about the ‘manageable’ number of people in one’s network….mine is definitely less than 300 (at least on fb) … but to me, that is keeping it ‘real’… to each his own I say!

  2. Great post Leo. I have also struggled a bit with how to reach out to the people that I admire. I don’t want to come across as an excited fan, but I also want to show that I have a breadth of knowledge that sets me apart from the crowd. However, deep down, I know I’m the crowd, no matter what.

  3. Thanks for your comments!
    Samina – The author I was talking about was Tom Clancy. We can passively watch the curated lives of others on FB but keeping it real by would be to limit those distractions…
    Sean – It would actually be so easy to act like some fanboy. I think the key would be like our class’ recent interaction with Kadushin (courtesy of Cat!). Engaging and developing the ideas that have been presented…
    Rebecca – Thanks again (especially for the re-shares, too!)

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