Networks: Strong and weak ties

In the next two posts we will look at two different types of network connections, strong and weak ties. Just an overview at their main characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s start by the ones that might appear as more powerful, useful. The strong ones.

Definition: invisible bonds that make us feel a sense of belonging. The more stronger the tie connecting two individuals, the more similar they are.

Also identifiable as: Community, cluster, team.

Relationship between nodes: socially involved (Friends), family.

Likely to find in them: Low level of new information, possibilities or new opportunities. Overlap of between the info handled by two nodes with strong ties.

Easy way to “use” them: in search for support, the need to reinforce our opinion, thoughts or decisions.

It’s important to have strong ties, but they can not be the only ones to have. What happens when we look for a change, for a different approach?

Will the strong ties have the tools to help us?

Having a lot of strong nodes, does not guarantee success. It can be a lot of the same, if we always go around with the same people, who are friend, who get along with each other, what changes can there be for us? In all likelihood, very few.

When you look for a change to who do you go first? Do you get the results you expect? Yes, no, don’t know?

To help you with that we should explore the power of weak ties. And after that, look at our own connection network to see what distribution we have between strong and weak ties.



Note: based on the lecture of Granovetter 1983 (“The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited”).

Thanks Luis for sharing with me amazing food for thought.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.