Social Capital is Complicated…At Least for Organizations

Reflect on a time when you were part of an event (on the Internet) that was trying to establish social capital. Given our class discussion, how do you think that event could’ve been improved or gone better?

I’m not sure if I remember a specific time in which I was trying to establish social capital online, but I think the concept definitely applies to trying to organize events through social media. I’m a member of the Student Organizing Committee for the Arts, or SOCA (think Art After Dark or Winter Arts Party to jog 10348185_833160183410350_3803080798284857484_nyour memory), and we primarily use Facebook and mailing lists to let people know about our weekly events. And as much as we’d like to claim that our events are accessible by everyone on campus, many people will never hear of SOCA. The nature of our publicity schemes and the fact that we’re a four person team means that we’re only contacting people that have signed up to our mailing list, like us on Facebook, or happen to be our friends.

Unfortunately, for people to learn about us and to involve themselves with our organization to the bare minimum requires a few things. It requires knowledge of at least one person or event directly involved with SOCA, or being a friend of someone who is. It requires actually visiting an event or knowing someone who will perform in one. And it requires enjoying the experience enough to want updates on our whereabouts. All of these things require social capital, and some of that capital isn’t in our control. But what we can control is our recruiting effort, the kind of publicity that we put out there, the word of mouth that we can spread. Somehow it has to be valuable enough to be considered valid social capital. Eventually we’ll figure something out. But in the mean time, consider this a shameless plug to you all about our organization.