I came across a TED video titled "The Hidden Influence of Social Networks" by Nicholas Christakis. The video is very powerful, but I liked one of the examples given for the advantage of being well connected over being poorly connected.
He gives the example of carbon atoms found both in the graphite of lead pencils and in diamonds. In
the graphite, the carbon atoms are loosely connected and so the graphite is dark and soft. Whereas, the carbon atoms in diamond are more tightly connected or the interconnections are different, and so the diamond is bright and hard. He compares the graphite to weakly connected social networks and the diamond to strongly are more connected social networks. The advantages of the close networks is obvious. Though in real life, graphite has its own use and diamond has its own use, the value of diamond is higher. It is the interconnections between the individuals that determines the value or social capital of the network.
To view the original TED Talk, click here.