Measuring Real-World Tie Strength with Digital Footprint Data: An Assessment of Convergent Validity

Michael Weiler
2018 International Conference on Information Systems  
Social media networks such as Facebook or other digital data sources on social relations might offer great potential in facilitating the measurement of social capital's relational dimension (i.e., tie strength). However, the question remains whether digitized tie strength is actually informative of its real-world counterpart, as researchers can use the metric extracted from digital footprint data to test theories involving real-world tie strength only if convergent validity is established. To
more » ... swer this question, we compared real-world tie strength collected through a one-week-long contact diary with its digitized counterpart extracted from digital Facebook footprint data. Our finding suggests that both metrics are only weakly related. As a result, researchers planning to utilize digitized tie strength to test theories involving real-world tie strength will arrive at incorrect conclusions. We discuss the implications of this finding, along with recommendations on how researchers nonetheless can utilize digital footprint data fruitfully in studies involving tie strength.
dblp:conf/icis/Weiler18 fatcat:jqtoy5pgsrbo3ahbzgt5ipuoj4