Mar 8, 2010 0
I went bowling on Thursday for the first time since 8th grade–it was fantastic.
Now back to social capital…
The two articles were studies into the way that SNS are most frequently and most effectively used. The one study focused on Facebook usage amongst college students while the other focused on a corporate SNS called Beehive. Beehive is IBM’s internal SNS which hosts interactions between members and provides a forum for exchanges or professional and personal information. The results of both studies suggest that increased use of the SNS promotes a growth of social capital. Both also showed that the SNS was a useful tool in not only maintaining old connections (bonding social capital) but in creating new ones as well (bridging social capital). However, the relative prevalences of these connections are based on a variety of factors. These factors were lost on me amid the statistics.
I think that Beehive cannot be compared to Facebook because of its definitive limits. While one could not possibly meet or connect with everybody in either SNS, Facebook provides the larger scope. Additionally, Facebook, for the casual user, tends to reflect a part of one’s life removed from work. This could be a major reason why Beehive was not a daily part of most of the user’s routine: people tend to separate socializing and work. This does not hold true for the frequent users. They seemed to connect the work hemisphere with the social one and used Beehive to build social capital. Yet, I suspect for most employees using Beehive, there is an omnipresent concern that they may be judged in their workplace for the content posted on their pages. For this reason, I do not believe that people would be as open and honest as they might on an open SNS like Facebook.