In chapter three, “Blogs, Communities and Networks” from Jill Walker Rettberg’s book, Blogging 2nd edition, Rettberg touches on the idea of Strong and Weak ties in communities. Mark Granovetter uses the follow example to argue that weak ties between people are more important than strong ties:
If A and B know each other very well, and A and C also know each other very well, it is highly likely that B and C also know each other very well. If A needs a job, she’ll go ask B and C. They probably wont have any new information, because A already shares most of the information that B and C have. There’s a far greater chance A will get new information- for instance, about a job that might suit her- from her weak ties, that is from acquaintances and people that she doesn’t see very often. The greater distance between A and her acquaintance D means that D knows more thing that A doesn’t already know (Rettberg 66).
So how does this look in real life? Lets use a clip from friends provided by Taylor Lint to illustrate this theory. You only have to watch for 50 Seconds to get the idea although the clip does go into some explanation.
In the example Joey is looking for a job, he is person A. He asks Chandler about a past classmate who is now directing a movie. Although Chandler would be considered a Strong tie to Joey, his connection to the classmate/director is a Weak tie, person D, and there for will have more information about a job opportunity.
Still not 100% sure about this Strong and weak ties thing? Try one more video… then I’ll translate that back to the situation with Joey wanting a job.
I changed the example in the video to match the friends example. Once again we can see that Joey (orange dot) has strong ties with his friends but their information about getting the acting job is stuff he already knows. Because Chandler has a weak tie with Dani Keystone he acts as a conduit for information to get to Joey about the job.
Although Mark Granovetter argues that it’s the weak tie between Chandler and Dani that is the most important to Joey, I would have to disagree to a certain level. Yes I agree that because of the weak tie Joey has a chance of getting the job. However should he blunder the audition it is going to be his strong tie that help his get over the defeat or take his out to celebrate for landing the gig. Joey wouldn’t go out and party with his new boss.
In case you missed the Links:
Taylor Lint’s Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0O6LOg6aRjGplEt1Le1OMQ?feature=watch
Social Capital: Strong and Weak Ties (Video): www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5c2_-5VQeU
The Strength of weak Ties: New animation from Dalton Conley (Video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Bm93gN1zJg