I’m currently reading Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. As subtitled, it’s a book about “using the web to build influence, improve reputation, and earn trust.” I’m only about 50 pages in, but already enjoying the prose and real-life examples. One such example that stuck with me long enough to warrant a blog post was some history on the color orange. I learned that the word orange is much younger than the rest of its rainbow friends. Who knew? “No one used the term before the actual fruit (the orange) arrived from China in the tenth century. We call people redheads and use the term goldfish because orange didn’t exist back then” (p.19). Its use was first documented in Henry VIII’s court.
The authors shared that example to illustrate a point that although the term trust agent is not vernacular does not mean that such a thing doesn’t exist and will not someday be a commonplace term. Trust agents are people “who humanize the web” (p.20) and, based on the undeniable boom of the ongoing conversation that is social media, it is these people that businesses will need. They will be needed to create relationships and really listen to consumers who are out there tweeting, facebooking, and blogging. Because in our world, once something is on the internet, it’s just one Google search away from everyone else.