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Trust is the currency of the Web

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Trust is the currency of the Web

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Today, Facebook hired the co-founders of Legit, a startup focused on reputation. This aligns with our prediction that the next generation of the connectivity is about reputation. After all, when you can read anything, anytime, anywhere, the trick is to know whom and what to trust.

Legit’s description of itself says it all:

We correlate data across marketplaces, creating a holistic picture of a user’s reputation. Legit measures real, transaction-based accountability without relying on social network data. Overall behavior improves when everyone is held accountable…the good reputation that users build on other marketplaces empowers them on yours.

The trust dial

Looking forward, we predict that ‘trust sensitivity’ is something that a user will be able to dial up or down to either filter out or include more voices. There are circumstances where you’ll want to know what your close connections (or trusted resources) think of something and other times when you want to know what the general population feels. We haven’t see it yet, but the ability to ‘turn the dial’ on trust is sure to come out next.

Trust is the measure of legitimacy. The way we normally go about protecting ourselves from Web nonsense is by gravitating to sources of one variety or another. We limit ourselves to the places where we’ve learned to trust. But that takes time and isn’t fool-proof. As the Web and its users become more sophisticated, the ability to spoof trustworthiness increases. By now, everyone looks for good grammar and high-quality photos and tweets, likes, external validation, etc. But this is easily imitated and thus the need for something more pan-Web…more universal.

We won’t be fooled again

Marketers are the worst at using channels that don’t build trust. Always looking for an edge, marketers are perhaps the worst offenders when it comes to choosing channels and messages. The best marketing is and will continue to be the most genuine and thought-through. It needs to follow this short list of factors that build trust:

  • Quality content
  • No self-serving messages
  • Don’t ask for contact information too early
  • Transparent calls to action that link to valuable assets
  • Honest social media use

This simple checklist is the doorway to trust, the most important (and growing) aspect of our connected world.



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