Does Internet Increase, Decrease, or Supplement Social Capital?

The American Behavioral Scientist association did a research study to see how the internet affects social capital. They published their results and analyzed them in the article: Does the Internet Increase, Decrease, or Supplement Social Capital? I was extremely intrigue and curious to read this article because I have always been interested in knowing how the internet has changed the way society interacts.

Many years ago, the world was completely different and much slower than today. The article suggests that community ties were much more appreciated. There was no email, just plain old fashion post-cards to remain in touch with those far away. Then, communication slowly took a turn when the internet was introduced. People had the opportunity to send email’s to stay connect to those far away and you could find people that you haven’t talked to in years. Now, social networks, such as facebook, myspace, and hi5, have allowed people to show pictures, videos, and share stories with your friends all around the world. Not only has communication among people changed due to the internet, but the way businesses operate since they are more cost effective. The world is completely different and society is adjusting to these changes. Some people are agaisnt the internet, others things is a very useful tool that enhances social capital.

The authors of the article, Barry Wellman, Anabel Quan Haase, James Witte, and Keith Hampton, concluded that  “greater use of the Internet may lead to larger social networks with more weak ties and distasteful interaction with some of these ties, resulting in lower commitment to the online community.” I do agree that the internat may lead to larger social networks, since it is easy to become a member and you can stay close connected to your friends and family that are live far away. Also, I do feel that ties will be weaker, no distasful however. People are always going to stay connected to their social circle and family and I find difficult to see a decrease in online community commitment.

Therefore, I do feel that the internet has a positive effect on social capital because people have the opportunity to build new bonds.

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The Journalists’ Fight Against Blogs

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When researching blogging I ran across the book  Say Everything by Scott Rosenberg.  I did not have time to read the entire book, but I did come across a excerpt from chapter 9, “Journalists vs. Bloggers,” on the books web page.  This chapter focuses on beliefs from journalists that blogging is nothing more than simple amusement that should not be taken too seriously.  This offended many bloggers who started blogging in response to disagreements with the media and other published documents. 

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Blogging will not change every business…but it will change many

I read a cool BusinessWeek article called “Social Media Will Change Your Business.”  The article, by Stephen Baker and Heather Green, is a follow up (in 2008) to a May 2005 article titled “Blogs Will Change Your Business.”  Three years later the authors still claim that blogs will change each and every business, but they recognize that it is no longer just blogs.  Twitter, Myspace, Facebook and others have popped up since the original article and so the power of all social media tools is discussed.

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Socialnomics: The Social Media Revolution

I recently read portions of a book called Socialnomics by Erik Qualman. In this book, Qualman discusses how social media has revolutionized how people interact with each other and how individuals receive and come across information in today’s world. He says that social media has become the most popular internet activity over the last three years because it helps people to avoid what he calls “information indigestion”. This is the idea that people can avoid coming across and reading useless information and stories that they do not care about on the internet. Continue reading

Actual Revolution…Via Facebook

In deciding whether or not social media is “revolutionary” in today’s world many focus on the great things these networking sites are able to do for business.  Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are able to market products, connect members of a business society to share processes and even keep the public aware of certain company strategies or upcoming events.  However, these sites, specifically Facebook, have also been used to create awareness and vent anger stemming from social issues and turmoil as well.  These networking sites are revolutionary for business, but for actual revolution as well.  The article from the NY Times, Facebook, Revolution Style points out one instance of this currently occurring in the Middle East.

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A Revolution of Words

The article I read does not make what I would call a profound statement about blogging (profound being if someone said, “Blogging will replace books completely” — as idiotic as that may sound).  However, it was written in 2002 and appeared in Wired.  The Blogging Revolution , by Andrew Sullivan, is ahead of its time, only having been written 2 years after the idea of “Web 2.0” emerged for the first time.  I think it was a very important insight into what blogging would become and how it would affect our lives on a daily basis.  The author makes an analogy between Napster for music and blogging being the future of words and information — and I couldn’t agree more.  For I always have much more respect for someone if they make a claim that isn’t readily accepted because it is ahead of its time. Continue reading

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

The release of this number caused havoc.

Readers can click on a “Digg” icon on news stories, blog posts, and websites all over the internet and the stories clicked the most are featured on Digg.com.

On May 1st, 2007 Digg.com, as a result of reader votes, featured a story with the above number at the top of its homepage.  Within hours, Digg had received a cease-and-desist e-mail from lawyers.  The link to the page containing this number was consequently removed.

Yet, internet users around the world ensured that the spread of this number occurred.

“You can’t take something off the Internet.  That’s like trying to take pee out of a swimming pool.” (NewsRadio, 1990s television show)

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