Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Article from Pew on the strength of email & online ties

I work with a company that creates aggregated blogging sites. I find I need a space to record some of my discoveries. I have another blog for the down home stuff. This one is to bounce around my ideas with myself. I need a thought trail to help in adjusting my thinking from time to time.

The PEW research site is a good source for studies. A recent one is on what the Internet does to relationships each of has with friends, relatives, neighbors and workmates. They just posted an article The Strength of Internet Ties. http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Internet_ties.pdf .Here are some of their findings. 1) Geographically dispersed networks is the operative word they use.This is how we connect through email and the internet. 2) Networked Individualism is another term used meaning we now connect individual to individual with email and cell phones vs individual to a household or place via landlines.

On pg 47 of 65 what seems to be proven over and over is Granovetter's classic "Strength of Weak Ties" theory (Granovetter, 1973) meaning that when we have more acquaintences (significant ties) then we receive signficiantly more help from this network. This is in contrast to our close family and friends (core ties) who do not, statistically exert a significant affect on the amount of help we receive. His theory is such a classic on human communication networks.