Motivations to engage in social networks

I was fortunate to hear an insightful lecture via Skype this afternoon by “Vancouver-based researcher, educator and consultant in environmental politics and policy,” Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega, about building and maintaining online professional and personal brands. He recommends sharing content generously with others in our online social networks as a means to expand our network and open doors in our off-line lives.

Dr. Pacheco-Vega’s descriptions about his personal and professional social networks and how they influence each other and support off-line relationships ties in nicely with Charles Kadushin’s Chapter 5 – The Psychological Foundations of Social Networks (in Understanding Social Networks) about “net generalized” exchanges, where we build up ‘credit,’ and get back in return what we give to our network (p.61).  Kadushin outlines “three, deep-seated, basic motivations to make contact and network” (p.72), which are:  safety and support through “dense, cohesive networks; effectance, or reaching out beyond our safety net; and status, or rank seeking.