Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Becoming street wise online

Yesterday afternoon something funny happened. I retweeted a message that one of my 'real life' friends had tweeted.

The tweet said something along the lines of "this guy is awesome & looking for a job in SEO".I sent it onto another friend who I knew was recruiting for an SEO job.

It didn't take long for the original friend to start poking fun at the fact that I hadn't clicked on his link to see that he was in fact, recommending Rick Astley for the job....

Ha. Ha. Ha. The joke is on me. However, in light of this personal experience and yesterday's fake BP twitter account, it got me thinking about what trust means and how it operates differently between the on and offline worlds.

There are some people in my life (ie grandparents) who wouldn't trust the internet for a second. There's no way that they'd make purchases online or believe that once they pressed 'send', an email would safely arrive at its destination. These are also the same people whose words of advice to me as a child were 'don't believe everything you read'.

So, it raises the question 'why do I seem to trust the internet and what I read on it, more so than traditional broadcast media?'

And, I think its due to the personal factor. I have a higher degree of trust in those that I interract with online and whom I also know in real life BUT, these lines are easily blurred.

Take twitter for example, I have started following people (and trust the links that they post plus, I value their opinions) but simply because they are part of the network of other people that I trust.

Its somewhat of a viscious circle.

Having now experienced an unharmful yet eye-opening breach of trust online by an offline friend, I'll be aiming to limit my levels of trust. I don't expect this to be easy though given that I expect people to trust what I endorse or post online. I guess its just about being more thorough & having what would be akin to street-sense when navigating the web.

1 comment:

Mark Pollard said...

You should un-follow rascals like that - especially if you sit near them. Actually, he should be put in the Naughty Interweb Corner all week to do keyword research on bowel motion.