SoCap08: Is there a thread missing?

As I sort through the after math of SoCap08, I think that you might want to check out this post entitled, The Silver Lining in the Market Collapse: Social Capital.  It seems that the theme that Jonathan Salem Baskin & I were trying to highlight last week with our co-authored, co-posted piece entitled Looking for Leadership? Invest in your Networks? was resonating at the conference.

In short, this time of crisis in confidence is a time when business leaders are looking for answers.  It is a time of opportunity for advancing social capital thinking that so many of us are dedicated to.

I am picking up that most felt that the conference captured a gritty optimism, as signaled by the attendance of more than 600 to a first time event that was planning for 300.  While it is clear that Katherine Fulton’s presentation on the state of social capital markets was well received, I am wondering if the observation that social capital markets are at a very early stage of uncoordinated innovation was out of step with the enthusiasm of the conference?

In particular, I am wondering if there was sub-context at the conference about the forces driving a revolutionary rise in social capital that is breaking down the silos between value based management (i.e. the quest to manage sources of stable future earnings, over and above the cost of capital), social capital and social network analysis.

While there were discussions about breaking down silos, I am not picking up any thread extending Nan Lin’s network theory of social capital, that is so useful in connecting social capital to market thinking IMHO.  The money quote from Nan Lin … “social capital, as a concept, is rooted in social networks and social relations, and must be measured relative to its root . Therefore, social capital can be defined as resources embedded in a social structure which are accessed and/or mobilized in purposive actions .”  A merger between individuals, social networks and media has taken place.

In short, since broadband internet connections became more prevalent than dial up in 2004, the dominant media paradigm is shifting away from broadcast towards the Individual as Medium.  Increasingly perception and therefore stable future earnings emanate from IAM instead of broadcast or offline word of mouth networks.  Whereas time on broadcast networks can be easily rented with financial capital (i.e. the 30 second television or radio spot), access to social media networks will only be granted through social capital.

This means that managing these scaled up forms of social capital is at the heart of every enterprise right now.  Not two or three stages of maturity in social capital markets from now.

Were you at SoCap08?

Am I picking up on a missing thread to the conference?  Can you help me elaborate this?  This blog post is unfinished without the input of the organizers and attendees ….

UPDATE: Here is a great overview of the SoCap08 conference from SocialFinance.ca.

Here is the blog round up from Social Capital Markets Blog that I referred to:

SoCap08