For this blog entry I mapped all my Facebook contacts while using TouchGraph to visualize my Facebook network. The big red spot visualizes my friends from high school, the blue and the purple the network from the place I grew up, and the green shows my university network at the German Sport University in Cologne. The red cluster is closely connected to the blue and purple because the high school I went to was in the same city where I spent my childhood, so classmates knew people I knew which weren’t in our class but were also living in the same city. I especially want to mention the green cluster because this is the network I am using the most frequently and you can find the same age group and educational level here. Because this cluster is located in a different city it is unconnected to the high school network. Also important is that the ties between the green dots are relatively strong because everyone also has the same interest in sports and goes to the same university. When talking about the differences between the clusters in terms of social resources I have to mention that I obtain special athletic knowledge as well as international experience through my university network whereas on the other hand I gain general knowledge from my high school and birthplace network because they are more diverse and not so focused on sports.
If I would open a retail shop I would do it in the green cluster because the interest is more specific and this makes it easier to provide and place a product which fits customer needs. Additionally the university network provides a great international environment which could create possibilities and could eventually create a business with international relations and business contacts. But when thinking about financial capital my birthplace network with my family and childhood friends would be more likely to support me in this case.
I would consider myself as a ‘tertius iungens’ who is, according to Burt (2000), the ‘third who connects’. It has to be mentioned that the person connecting third sees more advantages in people meeting each other rather than keeping them isolated. Concluding you could say that therefore my goal is to connect people from my university network which each other to benefit from that in the future.
When visualizing the network in the pyramid layout the alters up above are my family and friends with whom I spent the most time together, not only in fields of work or university but also in different aspects of living. Moreover I have the most friends in common with them.
Thank you for reading my blog, see you next week! J