I'm convincing my friend, Damien, to become an indie hacker. In this post I talk about the concept of "Social Capital".
Social capital is about the value of social networks. While you can get value out of social networks by consuming, the best way to obtain value is by creating. Anything that you post on social networks is a form of building social capital.
Social Capital x Serendipity
Building social capital is good because it enables other people to discover you. This is where serendipity comes in:
Serendipity is an unplanned fortunate discovery.
Serendipity is like a natural byproduct of being on the internet. There are so many people to meet, projects to discover and things to learn on the internet. But all of those experiences are enhanced by building social capital.
The more social capital you build, the more likely you are to be discovered by others i.e the more serendipity you will have.
More serendipity means more friends and opportunities.
Social Capital x Ownership
Building social capital on social networks has a lot of upside. But there is one thing worth taking into consideration - the ownership of your content.
This is more relevant to blog posts and other long form written pieces. While some people don't mind having their content owned by the platform they use, I'm of the opinion that you should own your content. This gives you absolute control. You can say whatever you want. You can monetise however you want.
Posting blog posts on your own website is better than using a platform like Medium or Substack.
Consistency is Key
Building social capital should be viewed as a long-term game. Over time the cumulative efforts of creating content, building social capital and experiencing serendipity will prove to be beneficial. It's an investment.
This week in Convincing Damien
Damien and I had a conversation about bringing a project of his to life. The project is a web application that will showcase the work he's doing in a research project. Damien mentioned that one of the reasons he wanted to do this project was to build social capital.
This is the first big step towards a career and lifestyle with more opportunity, flexibility and growth. The internet has enabled things we couldn't have imagined. And now is the time to be taking advantage of it.
I'll be continuing to push Damien to get his project up and running and to use it to start building social capital.
If this has inspired you to take action, let me know!