Reciprocity in a Tweet – Building Social Capital

The term ‘ reciprocity’ refers to the expectation to get some of the same goodwill that was demonstrated. In social networks this (to give rather than take) is often the fuel for THE influence (or insignificance) of an account, in social spaces such as the Twittersphere.

WikiPedia defines reciprocity as:

The norm of reciprocity is the social expectation that people will respond to each other in kind—returning benefits for benefits, and responding with either indifference or hostility to harms. The social norm of reciprocity often takes different forms in different areas of social life, or in different societies. All of them, however, are distinct from related ideas such as gratitude, the Golden Rule, or mutual goodwill.

As this week starts out, I am thinking about the energy and effort to date in nurturing certain relationships – with little reciprocity (besides the obvious request in self-interest, to retweet or mention). Indeed – indifference. And then there are other relationships in the social network with far less apparent influence (or Klout – a discussion for another day) that I have left unattended to my shame.  I may have been guilty to the same sin of lack of reciprocity. Lack of gratitude. As hard as one tries – it is always possible to overlook a friend in an expanse of tweets. Please let me know.

Going forward: Far less energy will be spend on those that do little to acknowledge or give any credit when it is due.  (Best way to do this, with the @CapeTown or related accounts, is to mention the account or to use one of our hash tags).

Choosing friends in social media – based on their desire to do the same – makes sense. Ps: Thanks Cape Town Tourism for the reciprocity today and best wishes with a good campaign launched 😉

(Indeed – This post ends in a very different way than what it started out… due to reciprocity itself, at exactly the right time. It was so appreciated).

There are at least 10 ways to lay a golden egg. We are building social economies with social tools and networks. We should not ignore the capital that is nestled in these networks – capital that relates to trust in the nature of the account, the approach of the account holder (the curator, or facilitator). And the simple reciprocity of a RT or a mention of an account – or the lack of it – demonstrates alliances – or mutually-respected objectives – in the same way as traditional joint venture of formal memorandum of association would in business deals.

This is such an interesting field to navigate – this social network maintained by personalities, egos and agendas. The only thing is: In an online community of connected people, the only way to truly enhance your brand and reach your goals is to include – rather than exclude. We need to be less selfish if we are to thrive in social networks. Heck! In life itself. 🙂

oh, and #loveCapeTown – it’s the right thing to do!

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