Archive for August 2007

links for 2007-08-31

August 31st, 2007 — 1:27am

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The Value of the Network: Links As Social Capital

August 30th, 2007 — 3:17pm

This is a small site with mod­est traf­fic. But it is still the case that a sub­stan­tial set of inbound links lead peo­ple from diverse ori­gins — search engines, blogs, con­tent aggre­ga­tors, feed read­ers, direc­to­ries, etc. — to many des­ti­na­tions within the site every day. Some of these con­nec­tions are vis­i­ble in the tag clouds that appear with indi­vid­ual post­ings, my con­tri­bu­tion to the Web’s ongo­ing col­lec­tive exper­i­ment with tag­ging and social book­mark­ing.
French soci­ol­o­gist Pierre Bour­dieu named this set of con­nec­tions and the social rela­tion­ships asso­ci­ated with them in the early 1970s, coin­ing the term social cap­i­tal, and thereby inspir­ing legions of civic and inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions to cre­ate devel­op­ment, invest­ment, and man­age­ment strate­gies for this new valu­able kind of resource.
But what is the <a href=“” onclick=“javascript:_gaq.push([’_trackEvent’,‘outbound-article’,‘’]);“s_law”>value of the network?
Fast for­ward a bit, and we can see that no mat­ter how you choose to cal­cu­late that value, Google has built a busi­ness rely­ing the new resource of cumu­la­tive social cap­i­tal, using it via mech­a­nisms such as latent seman­tic index­ing.
And we can see that in giv­ing form and focus to the idea of social cap­i­tal, Bour­dieu set the con­cep­tual stage for the recent explo­sion of social media and net­work­ing appli­ca­tions. Simul­ta­ne­ously des­ti­na­tions — albeit of unknown lifes­pan — and busi­ness ven­tures, the social net­works are recent exem­plars of long­time cul­tural move­ments of reifi­ca­tion, vir­tu­al­iza­tion, and visu­al­iza­tion of fields — another key con­cept iden­ti­fied by Bour­dieu.
Behind the scenes, the infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture that solid­i­fies the lim­ited social cap­i­tal of this site in phys­i­cal / dig­i­tal form is a mot­ley col­lec­tion of dis­parately named HTML files, tag des­ti­na­tion pages, cgi-powered con­tent streams, RSS feeds, local search results sets, etc. The prospect of get­ting another pub­lish­ing plat­form to mimic this mis­cel­lany was — like tun­ing an instru­ment to play songs com­posed with notes from another music sys­tem — not some­thing I could do as quickly and cheaply.
And so in com­bi­na­tion with the per­pet­ual urgency of the DIY mind­set, the imper­a­tive of pre­serv­ing the value of the exist­ing store of social cap­i­tal made the deci­sion to upgrade along an exist­ing path to MT4 sim­ple.
Archi­tec­turally, this is the equiv­a­lent of stick­ing with the brand name you know well.

Comment » | Networks and Systems

links for 2007-08-30

August 30th, 2007 — 1:29am

Comment » | Daily Links

Upgrading to MT4

August 22nd, 2007 — 3:11pm

We’ll be upgrad­ing to MT4 in the near future. Apolo­gies for any tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties that result.

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