I don't trust you

I don’t trust you! Well it’s not exactly that, it’s just that I trust you less, if the Edelman TrustBarometer is accurate in it’s 2010 report. As The Next Web summarises:

Mainly that the trust in global business has risen across the board. Something surprising was that trust in all forms of media went down. When it comes to information about a company, stock or industry analysis reports topped the list for credibility at 49% while social media bottomed out second to last — only above corporate advertising — at 19%.

That said, it means you trust me less as well.

Confession: I’m a bit of a Twitter addict. It’s changed my reading world, educated me, and brought more interesting thoughts into my head than I’ve had in a while. Am I wrong for trusting your tweets? Are you wrong for trusting mine? I must say, I don’t tweet anything I haven’t read first. I don’t simply retweet because a ‘trusted source’ tweeted it first. I work hard to ensure that everything that leaves whatever Twitter app I use (and I use a few) is interesting, and plausible to at least me. So do you not trust me then?

I’m not sure I’d have answered the TrustBarometer the way they suggest others have. I’m aware that there are plenty of Twits (used in the traditional sense of the word) out there who are using social media platforms to be cute and clever, but at the same time spewing a fair amount of untruth, spam and the like, but I block those babies as quickly as they pop up.

As in the conversation my colleague, Graeme Codrington, and I had around China and Google a few weeks ago, I’ve invited Graeme to weigh in on this post with some of his views, and yours if you feel like you’ve got something to say, so let me put some questions out there:

  1. Are the results of this survey simply indicative of a transition we’re going through around Social Media platforms, as people learn how to filter for themselves? We’ve not really had to do this before on such a large scale. We’re used to filtering an entire newspaper. Either you liked what the entire paper stood for, or you didn’t. With individual user generated media (Social Media) you’ve got to continually make a call with each individual you come across, with very sparse personal information to go on.
  2. Is business right in their unwillingness to embrace this space? Have they seen something the rest of us haven’t? Big business is panned all over the place for it’s lack of engagement in the Social Media space. Is there a collective wisdom bubbling underneath the surface evidenced by experienced communication people within business seemingly ‘not knowing how’ to engage, but possibly sensing something others haven’t?
  3. Is Social Media just a fad, an experiment of sorts, or will we learn the skills to use these new channels effectively and overcome the garbage that is possibly contributing to this lack of trust the Edelman TrustBarometer speaks to?

I’ll leave it there to give Graeme, and others, some space to reflect….

One thought on “I don't trust you”

  1. I would be very interested to know who was included in the research. Was the sample a good mixture of people using social media, and those not using it?

    It seems to me that those people who are not using social media tend to have a negative view of it. But I am (just) old enough to remember that a lot of people resisted getting mobile phones in the mid 1990s. Some even wore it as a bit of a badge of honour. Then, the same thing happened when text messages (SMS) started to take off. In fact, I’ll admit that I was slow to embrace text messaging myself.

    So, it does not surprise me at all that many people are seeing Twitter and Facebook as mere teenage toys. It doesn’t help the cause that a lot of people using Twitter and Facebook use it like teenage toys – but that’s a different story for another day.

    So, to answer Barrie’s comments. Social media is not a toy. This is a significant new trend in how we as humans choose to connect, communicate and engage. It is something significant and companies ignore it at their peril.

    But it’s in its infancy, and much has to be learned.

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