Trust is a big concern, but I am happy that social media has a better trust rating than any other medium.
My experience in the blogsphere has been excellent, where I have come across many bloggers (who know me also now) and I genuinely trust them.
Now the ironical bit, I have never met any one of them. I don’t know anything about their personal lives. It’s their ideas and thoughts which make them trustworthy like many of my personal friends.
Note: Opinions make people trustworthy (It doesn’t matter if you agree with them or not).
Opinion further links with effort… The other side to this is about bloggers who don’t know me, Do I trust them? Yes, because of my interaction with them (being one sided), since I make an effort to read their blog when ever they put up a new post.
Note: Another point of trust, you trust the person because you make an effort from your side to visit his blog and read what he has to say.
Taking this point further in a real scenario, recently, David Ferrabee (who is planning to do an Internal Communications conference in India,) asked me for some advice about holding the event in India after I commented on his blog. Since I know my way around India and due to my past work experience in Public Affairs, I knew I could help him with this. I gave him advice on how he could go about this, to the best of my knowledge.
David was extremely appreciative of my suggestions and he thanked me. The reason he asked me for my input and advice was because he was aware of my identity in the blogsphere, and he knew he could trust me for my opinions.
Now the question that arises is, how do two people who have never met each other trust each other? What is that one most important aspect that proves someone’s credibility? It’s their name. Although Shakespeare said ‘What’s in a name? A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. But today it’s all about the name game.
Note: Name and titles make people trustworthy.
Lastly a question, do I trust the anonymous bloggers, who blog under pseudo names? That’s a dilemma for me. I think I will trust someone more if they had their name, and other details mentioned, but a person who is anonymous might have some great ideas, thoughts and opinions; however I would have my doubts when it comes to the trust issue with them.
Let’s take two real scenarios…
People like TWL, I find hard to trust, even if I like what they have to say, or they make good points. Why might that be? It is not only because he is anonymous, I have personal reasons as well which lead to a logical point. Recently I was offended by him, where I think he lashed at me for portraying my opinion (on the PR Degree debate). I was not offended by his comments, but by the WAY he conveyed them. I think he could have said the same things in a much more diplomatic (read nice, polite) way (that’s what PR is all about…the diplomatic way of conveying your message). Nevertheless, I really appreciate his comments and because of them I am making an effort to better my writing skills.
The reason I mentioned this is to come to my next point which is:
Note: To be trustworthy, you have to be nice to people. Even if you say the right thing, trust might be lost because you didn’t say it politely.
Now there is another side to Anonymous bloggers. One of the blogs which in my opinion is a great Indian PR blog, is Hobbit Hob. I admire him, his knowledge… but again I face a dilemma when this trust question comes up. I can trust many others who I don’t admire just because they have a name and title, I know it’s not fair, but then it’s true.
Finally, as my friend who sits beside me says the ancient wise words, “Don’t Trust anyone Blindly.”