Some interesting thinking going on today around the idea of “weak ties”.
Blogs have a special social relevance because they allow their bloggers to create and maintain a network of weak social ties. The network of weak ties that a blogger can sustain is open to all comers, and is potentially vast and highly diverse (as diverse as the web itself—which of couse is not diverse enough, but is more diverse than, say, academic journals). Blogs are weak tie machines! Anyone (you!) can read my blog.
If my ideas seem relevant to you, you can take them and plant them within your local, strong-bonded social network. Of course, if you are a blogger, you can also spread them across your own blog-based weak ties—and thus diffuse the ideas even farther.
Blogging helps us expand and maintain a large number of loose ties. And loose ties, to go back to Granovetter’s point, are the vital links for social progress. Social progress may be (oversimply, of course) defined as the spread of good ideas across society, and the combination and recombination of people into new groups that can take collective action.
John Robb follows up Moore with some interesting observations on how the Dean campaign is leveraging these “small-world phenomena”:
If you think anything I write here represents the opinions of anybody but myself, you need more help than I can give you. The opinions are all mine, folks. Nobody else's. ESPECIALLY not my employer's.
If that's too hard to understand... well, I'm sorry. There's only so much I can do. I'm not a therapist, and I'm not a miracle worker. (Unless you consider staying employed in this economy a miracle.) I wish I could help you work through your delusional belief that I'm speaking for anyone else but myself. Honestly, I do. But in the end, that's a monkey you'll have to get off your back on your own. Sorry.