THE MOST-VISITED SPACE in my blogroll is Mena's corner of the Web kept fresh by the leading developers of Movable Type and the "strangely addictive" (Leader Pascal's words, now subverted by a video casino site) trackbacks of the past week.
Ben and Mena Trott earned their prominence through hard work and social capital in the form of community acclamation. But as events of this past week have shown, they've lost a lot of social capital with one simple announcement. They set a price point for playing in their part of the Weblog community and that pricing has annoyed thousands of people. What might be required for the sake of venture capital can erode significant levels of social capital.
David Wilcox points to Stephen Downes for an explanation of the impact of social capital, as related to community strength. Downes cites a useful compilation about social capital, and writes:
There seems to be this desire on the part of some to reduce every sort of good to some sort of "'capital"--human capital, knowledge capital, and now, social capital. Social capital is, according to one definition, "the degree to which a community or society collaborates and cooperates (through such mechanisms as networks, shared trust, norms and values) to achieve mutual benefits." According to another, "Over time, social capital builds what may be termed as social infrastructure."Wilcox thinks "terms like social capital should be banned. Let's call it what it is: popularity, connections, relationships, friends. Terms like "social capital" blur such distinctions in the process of commodifying something more subtle, more valuable, than crass material benefit.
Fair enough. However, there's a direct relationship between the decline of social capital held by Six Apart and the infusion of venture capital to that company. For that reason, the two concepts should be placed into the same framework for analysis.
David Wilcox -- "What is social capital"
Stephen Downes -- "What is social capital"
Luigi Canali De Rossi -- "What is social capital?"
Bala Pillai -- social capital
Mena Trott -- "It's about time" (no longer published but available through the Wayback Machine)