Trust Agents 3a – How Trust Works
I explored Amazon in preparing this post. I am reading Trust Agents on my Kindle. But I was in Chicago earlier this week and left the kindle in the rental car. I was caught up, but hadn’t read my part yet. So I discovered that you actually can read a whole chapter (once you close it and open it a couple times) through the “Look inside this book” feature. I am not going to make a habit of it, because it is a pain, but it is nice to know that the option exists.
I dropped off the rental car, took the shuttle to the airport. The shuttle driver asked me (the only one in the bus) if I had been sure to check for keys, glasses and in the glove compartment. I had. I just hadn’t looked in the armrest where I had the kindle stashed. I have always liked that by the time I get to security, if not before, I have an email thanking me from renting from Alamo and a copy of the invoice. Within another 15 minutes I had a phone call from the office, an offer to drive the kindle over to me. (I was on the plane by this point and didn’t have time to go meet someone to get it. But they FedExed it to me. They have my phone, email, address and billing info already and I expect to get it on Friday.
I have recommended Alamo to lots of people when they are renting from Midway in Chicago. They are almost always the cheapest, you can check in online, print the agreement, pick out your own car and be on the road way quicker than anyone else. Are they perfect, no, have I had issues with them, yes. But I rent 8 to 12 cars a year in Chicago and I have been very happy 95% of the time.
So I am recommending them to you (they also have send me a drivers license and a credit card that I also left in the car another time. I am usually in a hurry and often forgetful when I fly.)
So at this point you may laugh at my mistakes, you may use Alamo in the future, you may think that this blog post is already too long. This chapter tries to explain that reputation and trust are built, but are different in the real world and online. There is a nice little formula, but that isn’t all that important to me.
The part of the chapter that I really like is about the idea of “half-strangers”. I have been interested in the particularly online strength of tools like twitter and facebook to get detailed information about people that I really don’t know. Rhett Smith had a post in July about Ambient Intimacy that I really liked. Ambient Intimacy is a great phrase to describe the inverse of “half strangers”. So while I agree with Trust Agents, that we are always “half strangers”. Because of the Ambient Intimacy that comes about from knowing many things about the personal, daily lives of people that I have never met in person, I actually feel like I know them more than some people I have known in person for years. So I trust them. My wife bought a camera this month based on the advice of several people that I have never met in person.
Trust is developed when you feel like you know someone. This is why celebrities are great spokesperson for brands, because we feel like we know them. The chapter does go on to show some limits and cautions but I will allow the next person to take on that part.