Social Capital of Social Media

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Aug 062014

07319d9 - Social Capital of Social Media

Have you ever considered how much social capital you are engaging, when you say “Facebook Me,” or “Tweet Me,” or “Hit me up on Google Plus,” or “What’s your Klout Score,” or “Are we connected on LinkedIn?” Creative modern economic thinking on the social capital (“things you can do”) of social media (“people you know“) is simply explained in these two brief videos below. Photo Credit: The Ingenesist Program.

I wholeheartedly recommend we all absorb this innovation economy now, as we socially collaborate, learn, and teach, and as our global socioeconomic system reorganizes itself, right before our eyes within the next few years.

Here’s what others are thinking about this sound recommendation right now. So, have your social say, and go for it!

Social Capitalism and The Innovation Economy

Dan Robles, Director of The Ingenesist Project and Community Engineering Services, blogs: “As our computer enabled society marches toward social capitalism, and as a result of the overburdened financial institutions, a new generation of social media applications will form to emulate those institutions. Social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital will increasingly behave like tangible assets.”

“Social Capitalism fueling an innovation economy may become the most powerful engine of economic growth in human history, if structured correctly, and a dud, if not. We are much closer than anyone realizes, and the path is becoming increasingly clear. There is great cause for optimism in the next few years of social media development and social capitalism.”

VIDEO Credit: Dan Robles, Director of The Ingenesist Project, adds: “In the financial banking system, the entrepreneur assumes that they have the knowledge sufficient to execute a business plan and they go to the financial bank and search for the money. In the innovation banking system, the entrepreneur assumes they have the money and they go to the innovation bank to borrow the knowledge. Together, these two system act as a virtuous circle of innovation enterprise. Apart, they create a vicious circle of debt….sound familiar?”

Like every year for the past 6 years, May is the month Fred Cavazza publishes the latest edition of his Social Media Landscape, and as it is often the case, most of social media services and thus social capital listed in this landscape are the same as last year. This year’s changes are not to be found in social media newcomers, but in new usages creating new social capital, especially through the shift of users’ attention to wireless mobile devices.

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Fred Cavazza has noticed two main shifts in 2014:

  • “Long story short: social media and the web are the two faces of the same coin. This is 2014′s first major change: there is no social media any more, only one global social web.”
  • “Smartphones are now the first device used for communications, whether it’s email or text messages. This can explain the astonishing amount of the WhatsApp buyout by Facebook (at $19 billion dollars).”

Besides these three major social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus) and the explosion of mobile apps, the online ecology of social media (“people you know”) branches into four main areas (according to Fred Cavazza):

  1. Publishing with blogging platforms;
  2. Sharing with dedicated platforms for videos, music, photos;
  3. Discussing with desktop-based platforms and mobile apps, and advanced wireless mobile devices transforming the great conversations about new great ideas;
  4. Networking with business-to-consumers and business-to-business social networks.

In addition, the online ecosystem of social capital (“things you can do”) branches into an additional four main fronts:

  1. Media with emerging social newsroom media changing how why we read, write, listen, speak, disseminate, and assimilate news and information;
  2. Commerce with “big data” shifting how businesses analyze and make governance decisions across the nine risks [e.g. “IS MORC ILL?”Interconnections, Systems, Markets, Operations, Regulatory, Credit (and Collateral), Innovation, Legal, and Liquidity (Cash)];
  3. Services with data streaming empowering our global economic system with real-time information, knowledge acquisition, and broader understanding of virtuous life-changing experiences;
  4. Technology with social media driving the productive uses of new capital (social, creative, and intellectual).

Nexus of Forces and Seven Grand-Challenges Before Us.

However, I see beyond Fred Cavazza’s online social ecosystem through the lens of a nexus of forces (“The Cloud“, “Big Data“, “Wireless Mobile“, and “Social Media“), I have previously discussed on LinkedIn elsewhere.

Essentially, these four mega-technological trends embody a simultaneous nexus of egalitarianism (“The Cloud”), markets (“Big Data”), communications (“Wireless Mobile”), and technology (“Social Media”), applicable to next-generation data-analysis, and information control management systems. This nexus is the social, technological, educational, economic, and political challenge presented to all of us in the age of new social capital of demography shift and heightened engagement.

The new social capital is all about being in communication at all times. This requires smart people making advances in an innovative nexus of mega-trends towards seven grand-challenge technologies of (1) information sciences, (2) bio-sciences, (3) wireless technologies, (4) micro-technologies, (5) nanotechnologies (particularly in molecular computing, so we can compute real-time the social interactions of billions of online users in the future molecular-ecosystem of online social structures), (6) cognition research of online social thinking and human interaction, and finally, (7) mobility technologies for an aging social media user engaging next-generation information and communication devices.

This nexus of forces has taken hold in the form of a new “Social Capital” at an exponential rate in what has now been called the new “Social Mobile Media,” combining the last two of the nexus of forces.

In fact, seven of ten of the social media viewers of this article will come from users of wireless mobile devices.

Like a spontaneous volcanic eruption, it will be only a matter of moments (in say within the next 5 years, I predict) before we have fully-integrated all four nexus of forces into our more powerfully smarter “hand-held” and “wall-mounted” devices, emerging as “Streaming Social Mobile-Data Media.”

Social Capital of Social Structures and Human Interaction

The Late Nobel Laureate economics and sociology Professor Gary Stanley Becker (1930-2014) was one of my fine teachers, during my time spent at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Professor Becker talked with me one day after one of his seminar classroom lectures at great length about the economic concept of “social capital,” particularly in social interaction and structures among people and their social media.

The core concept of Professor Becker’s thinking on “social capital” is the sum of one’s own capital (his or her assets, earnings, etc.) and the capital value to said person of the relevant characteristics of others. Such relevant characteristics include integrity and trust, alongside responsibility and accountability, with a touch of self-expression, and a sprinkle of generosity spread around to others. Social capital efficiently extends 24/7 both within and throughout one‘s social sphere of influence and smart technologies.

Built fundamentally upon Becker’s thinking on human capital, these social interactions are the essence of social capital resting upon “contemporary sociological and anthropological literature,” as Professor Becker taught me, and “considered the cornerstone of behavior by several prominent 19th century economists.”

Curious about what Professor Becker taught me, I decided to look into the enormous amount of “social capital” foreseen, anticipated, and realized by the founders and creators of a slice of online and computational breakthroughs that laid the historical groundwork (see Appendix) of much of the social media revolution of 2014, we so enjoy the conveniences of today.

So much more is forthcoming in the next few years, but for now, here goes, and enjoy!


Modern Evolution of Social Capital of Social Media


World Wide Web created.


IBM scientists complete a two-year calculation – the largest single numerical calculation in the history of computing – to pin down the properties of an elusive elementary particle called a “glueball.”

eBay was founded in Pierre Omidyar’s San Jose living room, as a technological online marketplace for the sale of goods and services for individuals. In 1998, Pierre and his co-founder Jeff Skoll brought in Meg Whitman to sustain eBay’s success, through learned business experience of branding at companies, such as Hasbro, PepsiCo, and Disney, to build a strong vision for eBay, as a company business of “connecting people, not selling them things.” Hinged on a business model of average sale price, as a key metric in determining eBay‘s transaction fees, eBay forged partnerships with name brands, such as GM, Disney and Sun — which has sold $10 million worth of equipment and Sun now lists between 20 and 150 items per day.


Stanford University graduates, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, launch Google, registering in 1997. An unincorporated Google, Inc. receives its first investment: $100,000 (£56,000) from Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim.


PayPal, or known as Confinity, is founded. PayPal officially takes on its name in 2001.


IBM delivers the world’s most powerful computer to the US Department of Energy, powerful enough to process an Internet transaction for every person on Earth in less than a minute. IBM built the supercomputer to accurately test the safety and effectiveness of the nation’s aging nuclear weapons stockpile. This computer is 1,000 times more powerful than Deep Blue, the supercomputer that beat Garry Kasparov in chess in 1997.


Apple Computers develops the iPod portable music digital player.

IBM researchers build the world’s first transistors out of carbon nanotubes – tiny cylinders of carbon atoms that are 500 times smaller than silicon-based transistors and 1,000 times stronger than steel. The breakthrough is an important step in finding materials that can be used to build computer chips when silicon-based chips can’t be made any smaller.


PayPal issues its Initial Public Offering (IPO). PayPal is acquired by eBay for US $1.5 Billion – the ultimate marketplace merger of the world’s largest auction site and online payments system, available in dollars, Euros and Pound Sterling, as a payments option on eBay UK in 2004, and launches in 2005 its China site, which operates under the name of BeiBao, in Simplified Chinese. PayPal expands to 103 markets and adds 10 currencies, including Singapore Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Swiss Franc, and more, surpassing 100 million accounts in 2006.

LinkedIn is created as a business-oriented social networking service. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. In 2006, LinkedIn increased to 20 million viewers. As of June 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 259 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories.

LinkedIn’s CEO is Jeff Weiner, previously a Yahoo! Inc. executive. The company was founded by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from PayPal and (Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Lee Hower, Konstantin Guericke, Stephen Beitzel, David Eves, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante, and Chris Saccheri). Founder Reid Hoffman, previously CEO of LinkedIn, is now Chairman of the Board.


Google goes public as Initial Public Offering (IPO) at $85 a share. Gmail is launched, Google Maps and Google Earth launched in 2005, a satellite imagery-based mapping service, followed by Google Talk.

Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin launch Facebook.


Facebook acquires domain for $200,000.

YouTube debuts as the online video sharing and viewing social community.


Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass and by July 2006 the site was launched. The social network and micro-blogging service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with 500 million registered users in 2012, who posted 340 million tweets per day. The service also handled 1.6 billion search queries per day. By 2013, Twitter was one of the ten most-visited websites,


For a record-setting ninth consecutive time, IBM takes the Number One spot in the ranking of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. The IBM computer built for the Roadrunner project at Los Alamos National Laboratory: the first in the world to operate at speeds faster than one quadrillion calculations per second: remains the world speed champion. The Los Alamos system is twice as energy efficient as the Number Two computer, using about half the electricity to maintain the same level of computing power.


LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, at an initial price of $45 per share. Shares of LinkedIn, which rose as much as 171 percent in their first day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange, closed at $94.25, more than 109 percent above IPO price.

Google launched the Google+ service as an invitation-only “field test” on June 28, 2011.


Facebook is launched as Initial Public Offering (IPO) at an initial price set at $38 a share, and the stock closed at $38.23 on its first trading day.


Eric Migicovsky invents the Pebble watch that pulls selected data from mobile phones, so users can absorb information with a mere glance.

Stanford undergraduates, Evan Speigel and Bobby Murphy, invent Snapchat, a social-media that replicates the unrecorded nature of ordinary conversation in the wake of the New York congressman Anthony Weiner scandal.

On November 7, 2013, the first day of trading on the NYSE, Twitter shares opened at $26.00 and closed at $44.90, giving the company a valuation of around $31 billion. This was $18.90 above the initial offering price and Twitter ended with a market capitalization of $24.46 billion. The founders, Williams received a sum of $2.56 billion and Dorsey received $1.05 billion, while Costolo’s payment was $345 million. As of 13 December 2013, Twitter had “a market capitalization of $32.76 billion.”


When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (widely-known as ‘Obamacare’) was hampered by a botched rollout of the much anticipated website, it was labeled as ‘the largest governmental information technology challenge of all time.’

As revamping of the website came up again for swift procurement, Accenture was the IT strategy solution that could rapidly provide the necessary re-launch of the Affordable Care Act.

Accenture’s gamble brought the firm a historic government contract to streamline the national health insurance enrollment of 8 million people by the March 2014 enrollment deadline.

Accenture’s successful performance on the contract has almost immediately led to public consensus that the IT strategy firm saved the Affordable Care Act.


History of the Department of Defense, U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, A History of the Department of Defense Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, OTA-BP-ISS-157 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, June 1995); History of IBM, MIT Technology Review 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2013.

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