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Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., Lampe, C. (2011). Connection strategies: Social capital implications of Facebook-enabled communication practices. New Media & Society 13 (6), 873-892

This study assesses whether Facebook users have different ‘connection strategies,’ a term which describes a suite of Facebook-related relational communication activities, and explores the relationship between these connection strategies and social capital. Survey data (N = 450) from a random sample of undergraduate students reveal that only social information-seeking behaviors contribute to perceptions of social capital; connection strategies that focus on strangers or close friends do not. We also find that reporting more ‘actual’ friends on the site is predictive of social capital, but only to a point. We believe the explanation for these findings may be that the identity information in Facebook serves as a social lubricant, encouraging individuals to convert latent to weak ties and enabling them to broadcast requests for support or information.


Ellison, Nicole B.

I am an associate professor in the Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media department at Michigan State University. Currently I'm involved in several research projects. My Research page has links to most of my publications, so please check there for more information. My...

Steinfield, Charles

Charles Steinfield is a professor and chairperson of the Department of Telecommmunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University. He holds a B.A. in Communication from Michigan State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Theory and Research from the Annenberg...

Lampe, Cliff

Cliff Lampe is Assistant Professor at the Michigan State University, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media.

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