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Trust Agents

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Trust Agents

Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Today, leveraging the power of the web can help you win consumers’ trust.

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Archimedes, the Greek mathematician and inventor, once said, “With a lever large enough, I can move the world.” Today, the internet can be that potent lever “for increasing the power of what you do,” according to social media gurus Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. The most effective way to use the web to improve your brand’s “influence, reputation and profits” is to become a “trust agent” online. That requires developing strong, sustaining relationships with consumers who believe in you, respect you and see you as a helpful resource, credible expert and honest person. In this illuminating, witty guide, the authors explain who trust agents are, what makes them special and – most important – how you can become one. getAbstract recommends Brogan and Smith’s tales of what individual trust agents have been able to accomplish in cyberspace. You’ll realize all over again that the internet is a remarkably interactive, powerful medium – a lever indeed capable of helping you move the world.


“Trust, Social Capital and Media”

People are no longer as trusting as they once were. In fact, “the general public’s level of mistrust is at an all-time high.” But savvy companies can use the internet to build trust among consumers, thus enhancing the power and reputation of their corporate brands. Rather than trying to conceal information about their operations, these firms embrace the web’s connectivity and transparency and even use these properties to advance their business objectives. By establishing or harnessing “trust agents,” or “non-sales-oriented, non-high-pressure marketers,” they develop a genuine, credible presence online.

Why are trust agents so influential? They are “power users” of the internet’s latest, most potent tools. These champions of online connectivity don’t aggressively promote their companies. Nor are they “infiltrators,” or spies who join online communities for ulterior motives. Instead, trust agents are honest, straightforward people who “humanize” their firms. They recognize that online communities want to be “cared for,” not “managed.”

To understand how web communities currently perceive your company and its competitors, and why...

About the Authors

Chris Brogan is co-founder of PodCamp, which sponsors “UnConferences” for social media enthusiasts and professionals, including bloggers, podcasters and social networkers. Julien Smith, a trend analyst, has directed web communities for more than 10 years.

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    R. T. 3 years ago
    Eleven years later – this book now feels a little dated and old hat. But it has some useful ideas – the rules of the game, and the Agent Zero in communities.