From Social Capital to Social Production Implications for Individuals, Organisations and Nations

From Social Capital to Social Production Implications for Individuals, Organisations and Nations

Margaret Tan (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-057-0.ch030
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In recent years, the advancing and sophisticated interconnectivity of the fast-evolving interactive digital technologies have dramatically created a new space that is both virtual as well as physical, that is both conceptual as well as real. This new collaborative space known as the ‘co-space’ provides a new paradigm shift to the economic and social ecology of information and knowledge creation. For instance, various social networking tools and technologies that enable individuals and the communities to express, communicate, and interact to share their creative works and knowledge in the new ‘co-space’ can facilitate profound networks of relationships that not only constitute a valuable conduit for the conduct of social affairs but also the social production of intellectual capital. In other words, as social production becomes a critical contributor in the knowledge-based economy, it is important to recognize that the key to today’s innovations may be developing the organizational ability to harness such social production efforts so as to use them in the formulation of competitive actions at the individual, organizational as well as national level.
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The Rise Of Social Production

Various enabling interactive digital media such as blogs, forums, email, instant messaging, twitter, social bookmarking and other instances of what is often called ‘social networking’ software can be intriguing for researchers to understand how individuals mobilize information and knowledge in the collaborative virtual space. The simplicity of using such media has led to the creation of a critical mass of adopters or users. For instance, setting up and maintaining a blog is an excellent example of how easy the social networking process can be. A person can simply sign up for a free account at any blog-publishing sites, such as WordPress or Blogger. Videos and photos can be easily inserted into the blog by uploading and then linking to the free YouTube video-sharing service and Flickr photo-sharing service for example. Tracking visitors can be readily done by signing up with MyBlogLog (again a free service) while allowing visitors to subscribe to regular blog postings can be simply accomplished by opening a free account with Feedburner to use its RSS technology (Carr, 2008). Online chats and comments can also be easily enabled to facilitate interaction with visitors on such blogs. Beyond blogging, Facebook and MySpace are also examples of free-access social networking websites whereby users can form and/or join specific community networks to connect and interact with other people.

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