Social Media Top 5: Trust the Clowns & More Blather

Trust for Trust’s Sake? I Don’t Trust That Notion

There has been a lot of talk about Trust in social media circles over the last few years. I agree that trust is important in business (not just social media- let’s stop isolating broad concepts, shall we?), but does a company try to engender trust simply for trust’s sake? I don’t think so, and don’t think they should either.

The latest airing of that topic came on Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation podcast interview with Don Peppers of the Peppers and Rogers Group. Peppers and Rogers popularized the notion of “One to One” marketing with their book “The 1:1 Future” more than 15 years ago, and is highly respected in the field; the book was an early influence on me. ¬†When I heard Peppers talk on the podcast about companies’ need to build trust, however, I waited in vain for that other show to drop– that companies build trust in order to get more revenue from us. Just have my trust? Fine, but not if it doesn’t prompt me to buy. This kum-bay-yah unicorn stuff isn’t free. It’s ok to sell me stuff. If I trust you, I’ll buy more, and that’s why you should be looking for that trust


So, is personalization on the Internet limiting our world view by only showing us things with which we have affinity, or is it a better engine for serendipity and discovery? It’s remarkable to see people argue hard when both are right (are wrong). So the answer for personalization and the dangers of the limited worldview? It takes me back to the “responsibility of the audience,” meaning that some people will only take in one side no matter what, while others will always explore. Partisan, reality-challenged talk radio existed well before Facebook. Perhaps it’s not social media/personalization’s fault.


Chris Brogan clowning it up :)

Photo by Eric Skiff (Chris, I Kid!)

Gary Vee: Send in the Clowns and Let it Ride

Gary Vaynerchuk made a few waves when he said in a Techcrunch interview that “99.5% od social media experts are clowns.” Why would people get offended? Are they not used to Gary’s hyperactive hyperbole? I would only take issue with his use of the word “clown,” as his act can seem a bit clownish, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing (exhausting, maybe). There are plenty of other words, but to the shock of some of my friends I won’t print them here. Gary felt he needed to explain the comment. I don;t think that was necessary. Let people be offended. The people with nothing to fear from such comments won’t mind.


Tooling on Social Media Experts

I enjoy Justin Kownacki’s rants against Social Media Expert laziness and complacency. I also love Christopher Penn bludgeoning common sense into our brains. Put the two together (in separate posts, don’t get too excited), and you have satire and sense about how to be a social media expert, with the bonus that one point makes each list (naturally, it’s the saw about using numbered lists, which I agree is both trite and useful– geez, look what I’m doing with these “Top 5” posts)

Another Victim of Multiple Twitter Accounts

I balance personal and client Twitter accounts, and keep a healthy fear of posting to the wrong account someday. So far, I have managed to avoid doing this. How hard can it be, really?

*For the record, I can’t deal with the blathering either, though it’s not limited to Fox


  1. I don’t suggest trust for trust’s sake, Doug. Although maybe Martha Rogers and I are both tired of trying to make the case. We’ve written two complete books already about the link between earning a customer’s trust and creating a valuable, profitable enterprise. Return on Customer (2005) and Rules to Break & Laws to Follow (2007) both make the financial link, which is indisputable, even though most firms still don’t “get it” financially. Unfortunate but true. Sorry I didn’t close the loop on this argument during my interview with Mitch. I should have. My bad!

  2. Don, thanks for clarifying– I was surprised not to hear the other shoe drop on the podcast.

    And I hear you on banging one’s head against the wall on some these things

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