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First steps towards measuring social capital in online social media networks : a design approach using online social media networks of LinkedIn and Twitter

Schmalöer, A. (2015) First steps towards measuring social capital in online social media networks : a design approach using online social media networks of LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Abstract:Social media have become an important tool for online communication and the creation of online social networks. Individuals, groups, and organizations have begun using social media for multiple purposes. This research focuses on the potential of building social capital through the use of different social media. The main question of this investigation is how to measure social capital in an online social networking environment. Existing methods for measuring social capital are primarily used in offline contexts. The research objective is to identify practical indicators, to implement and evaluate them in different analysis techniques, and to reflect on them afterwards regarding their applicability and their appropriateness in an online social networking context. Based on scientific literature, the researcher proposes an adapted an integrated conceptualization of social capital in online social media networks. A triangulation of analysis methods is applied. A social network analysis investigates the network structure and identifies important individuals within the networks. The triad census describes underlying communication patterns. A thorough content analysis focuses on the communication contents of the networks. For the purpose of this fundamental and practical approach, the researcher executes a case study of a citizen´s initiative which uses two social media tools for their online communication: the social networking site LinkedIn and the microblogging site Twitter. Results show that adaptation and a continuous elaborated reflection on the methodology is essential during the implementation process, but that it actually is feasible to use existing analysis techniques for investigating social capital in online social media networks.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/67533
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