Before I coined the term “invisible capital,” I used the term “digital capital” to represent more or less the same thing, but relegated to the inequality of opportunity I perceived in the online world.

Since the 2004 presidential election, I have spoken publicly and consistently about how individuals’ “digital capital” in the political blogosphere has been virtually invisible and why we needed to bring these advantages to light in order to understand how they have influenced the experiences, mobility, and participation of different groups of citizens of the Internet—aka “netizens.”

The more I explored this idea with friends and colleagues, the more I realized that what I was talking about transcended social media or participatory ...

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