You're looking at my first grade class, circa 1964. (Can you guess which one is me?) I haven't kept in touch with most of my first grade classmates, although I remember all their names. I hadn't thought about my first grade teacher, Mrs. Segal, in over 40 years until this weekend when she friended me on Facebook!
Do you remember the line -- "It's not what you know, it's who you know." It means roughly that to get things done you need to build up social capital, not just knowledge. When I first started my work in the nonprofit sector, I worked in the development office and this phrase was often used to describe what was needed to be an effective fundraiser.
Social network sites, like Facebook, are making it very easy for us to connect and build relationships with people we know, might want to know, or knew in the past. Social networking site, like Facebook, are making it easier to accumulate and maintain our social capital. Although it takes relationship building and other steps to actualize it.
I am thinking about the "Facebook Generation," those who have grown up with social networking sites. They will have the potential to remain "connected" with everyone they have met growing up. Think of it - they will have the opportunity to create a lifetime of social capital.
That thought makes me wonder about social networks will continue to change our lives and our work. Will the nonprofit development officer of the future say, "It's not who you know, but whether you're connected with them online."