Today’s class was focused around the fundamental concepts of social capital and social network theory. I invite you to consider how social media has changed things in these realms. But, more important, I would like you to consider the implications of the things you learned for you as an individual (how can you use social media to increase your social capital?) and for your research: If you look through the lens of social capital and/or social network theory, what do you see in your area of interest? What issues emerge? What research questions? What dynamics that maybe you didn’t notice before?
As you continue reading for this class, focus on grasping the essence of each reading and the connection among the readings in a way similar to what we did tonight. Identify the core concept or theory and how the readings organize around it to define, explain, and illustrate it. Work to see the connections among the readings and the connections of the readings to you and your work – make them yours. I invite you to engage with the readings actively and deeply and see how you can use these concepts. What’s in it for you? What happens if you look at your piece of the world through the lens of this concept or theory?
Finally, related to today’s class discussion, I want to encourage you to leap. One thing I promise you – in public and in writing – that in this class, you will get all the tools and support that you need to succeed. It is safe. The only sure way to fail is not trying hard. So, try hard. Dive into the deep end of social media. Use Twitter to acquire new social capital. Do a different research project. Step outside your comfort zone. Grow. I’ve got your back. I won’t let you fail once you leap. Yes, this class might be a bit different than what you’re used to. Enjoy it. Make the best out of it. Use this opportunity to explore. You don’t need to play it safe. You are in a safe place from which you can be adventurous. Take advantage of that.
This coming week, show us how you’re all on top of Twitter, and on #followfriday, and how you’re using Twitter and blogs to acquire new social capital.
Questions or thoughts? Please let me know in the comments below. And do remember to let me know in some way or another that you read this post. Let’s maybe try a poll:
Are this kind of class notes helpful to you?