Trust is linked to Transparency. Discuss.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently. In the age that we live in today, privacy is dead. The more we share, the richer the picture people can build up about us.

We live in an always on, entirely open, information rich, platform agnostic super high way of facts, however trivial or indeed factual.

This won’t be the case for everyone and will differ wildly for industries/disciplines (my brother, the accountant is probably one of the exceptions) but for the bunch of us living the dream in this whole online pr/ digital advertising / social media type life..

We can see where they are on Foursquare, who they are with on tagged photos on Facebook, what they had for lunch on Twitter (yawn), who they work for on LinkedIn, what music they listen to on MySpace, Spotify or Last.fm, what videos they watch on YouTube and find out about a friends purchases on Blippy.

This is all public information. We are openly allowing the dissemination of this information out there in to the ether. And this somewhat frightening thought doesn’t bother me at all. Should it?

But what brought this thinking along was when my boss @helenium and her boss @ewarwoowar added me as a friend on Facebook yesterday. Facebook is a funny one because I didn’t accept my mother as a friend. I want some private space somewhere on the Internet! So this did bother me for a short while, I’ll be honest. The one place I can allow myself some privacy on was being infiltrated. But then I thought what have I got to worry about and accepted. Self censorship is all the rage these days.

The crux of my argument (to myself) rested on the fact that if i didn’t accept their friend request I would obviously have something to hide and they wouldn’t be able to trust me. So in that respect, privacy is dead and the levels of transparency proffered is directly linked to trust. Because I’d have something to hide if I didn’t open my profile up to them. I don’t have anything to hide bar from some unsavoury drunken pictures when out and about but that’s me outside of work, it’s a different story entirely. And that I believe is respected with a really good work life balance at Dare. I think they kinda want you to have a personality and a life rather than the other way around.

We’ve seen that there are cases that this data can be used to show that we need to be wary what exactly it is we’re telling everyone, pleaserobme.com is a perfect example. It’s fine to check in to a bar but if you A) give out your home address and B) check in and out of it, someone can know when you’ve left home for work in the morning and be lying in wait. A sinister and terrifying thought but one that is valid nonetheless. Don’t get me started on checking in to tube stations..

If you are googling someone who you just want to find out a bit more about and nothing comes up, wouldn’t you be more concerned than seeing a few drunken photos of them on a weekend? I know what I think. Being private is now being hidden. Privacy is dead.

So what does this all mean and where are we heading?

Well, social media has opened us up to the world. For better or worse we now know or have the ability to know the very last minute detail about the people we work with and the same applies for people we might be hiring. We’d probably check them out online before even the first interview takes place and know quite personal facts about them before that very first hello.

Fascinating.

An example: A friend told me recently about someone they were looking at hiring, so a couple of weeks before the initial interview was pencilled in they started keeping more of an eye on their online profiles. Over time, the friend said that they felt that they had built an accurate enough picture of the individual by how they talk and carry themselves with others online that they didn’t pursue employment with the individual. Again, fascinating, but this time a pitfall of being openly transparent.

Again, fascinating, but this time a pitfall of being openly transparent. Being more open is good but be careful.

I could go on. But I won’t.

Trust is linked to Transparency. Discuss.

Wal-Mart Concocts Fake Community Group to Gain Chicago Support

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Proving that blog comments can be just as invaluable as they are insipid, Chicagoist scribe Kevin Robertson unearthed a potentially nefarious Wal-Mart plot in his hometown. After a certain commenter by the name of “Chatham” began regularly taking issue with Wal-Mart opponents on various Robertson posts about the brand’s attempt to enter the Chicago retail market, the author decided to take a closer look at who this character was.

Robertson traced the URL attached to Chatham’s comments back to a community group called “Our Community, Our Choice”, which seemed to sincerely support a Wal-Mart opening in the area. On the bottom of their site, the group states that it’s “proudly supported by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce”, which Wal-Mart happens to be a member of. Robertson also traced the IP address on Chatham’s comments back to Serafin and Associates, a Chicago consulting firm that Wal-Mart retained to manage its Chicago PR.

After doing a little digging and getting nowhere with Wal-Mart flack, Robertson finally interviewed Chicagoland’s Government Relations Director Michael Mini. While admitting that Serafin was involved in strategy sessions and that “Our Community, Our Choice” was “part of our advocacy effort to gain support”, Mini was basically struggling for words when asked if he knew Serafin’s IP address was being used to comment on blogs. In fact, the guy couldn’t even give a straight answer as to whether or not he was actually from Chicago.

Robertson says:

“While Wal-Mart certainly has the right make its case to Chicago, the way they’ve gone about this – creating a fake community group that purports to represent a community’s residents and interests – is sneaky and underhanded. If what they have to offer Chicago is such a great deal, why did they need to go through the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to set up a bogus grassroots group?”

This is all technically speculation since Wal-Mart hasn’t come forth to cop to any such travshamockery, but should we be so shocked if it is 100% true?

Words fail me. “Amazing” like @whatleydude rightly says.

TrendsSpotting 2010 Social Media Trend Predictions

I’ve omitted the word ‘influencers’ from the original headline because it still bugs me a bit but nonetheless this is a brilliant compilation of so many varying predictions on 2010 in the one place from some of the biggest movers and shakers. I’m merely there to fill up the numbers obviously and being next to Seth Godin has provided many with much amusement. But I’m all for a bit of self-deprecation every now and then. Hat tip to @tim_whirledge for the original heads up.

Everyone that is featured in the presentation is listed below with their @names, making it easy for you to follow as many as you wish.

Major trends that came to the fore out of all the predictions were:

Mobile, Location, Transparency, Measurement, ROI and Privacy.

Not much new there then for 2010. Mobile, Location and Privacy would be my three to watch in 2010. Transparency shouldn’t even be there because it should happen without a second thought. But in 2009 we have seen and still in 2010 we’ll continue to see ideas, campaigns and executions which will pretend to be something they’re not / mislead consumers in some way or fake its roots and originality. Sometimes it is purely for the sake of controversy and to get people talking about it but other times you wonder who initially thought it would be a good idea and then how it ever made it in to the public spheres.

It was concluded that 2009 did not meet expectations. What should we expect in 2010?

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In this report,  the 2010 Social Media trends are foretasted by:

@petecashmore PETE CASHMORE Founder, CEO Mashable
@armano DAVID ARMANO Senior Partner, Dachis Group Author, Logic and Emotion
@chrisbrogan CHRIS BROGAN President, New Marketing Labs
@peterkim PETER KIM Managing Director, N.America Dachis Group
@seth SETH GODIN, Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur & Agent of change
@litmanlive MICHAEL LITMAN Social Media Strategist Consolidated PR
@tamar TAMAR WEINBERG, Community & Marketing Manager, Mashable
@johnbattelle JOHN BATTELLE Founder & Chairman Federated Media
@mariansalzman MARIAN SALZMAN President, N.America Euro PR, Trend Spotter & Author
@mzkagan MARTA KAGAN Managing Director, US Espresso- Brand Infiltration
@danzarrella DAN ZARRELLA Social & Viral Marketing Scientist HubSpot
@emarketer eMARKETER Digital Intelligence
@drewmclellan DREW McLELLAN Founder and Author The Marketing Minute
@idc CAROLINE DANGSON Digital Marketplace Research Analyst IDC
@jasonfalls JASON FALLS Social Media Strategist Social Media Explorer
@charleneli CHARLENE LI Founder Altimeter Group
@gauravonomics GAURAV MISHRA CEO 2020 Social Online
@marc_meyer MARC MEYER Principal Digital Marketing Response Group
@emarketer JEFFREY GARU Senior Analyst eMarketer 2010
@jimmy_wales  JIMMY WALES Founder Wikipedia
@alecjross ALEC ROSS Sr Advisor -Innovation State Department
@CraigNewmark CRAIG NEWMARK Founder of Craiglist
@scobleizer ROBERT SCOBLE Technical Evangelist Rackspace
@dmscott DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT Marketing Strategist & Author World Wide Rave
@roncallari RON CALLARI Social Media
@ravit_ustrategy RAVIT LICHTENBERG Founder & Chief Strategist Ustrategy.com
@equalman ERIK QUALMAN Author Socialnomics
@pgillin PAUL GILLIN Writer, Author & Social Media Consultant Principal
@adambroitman ADAM BROITMAN Partner & Ringleader Circ.us
@cbensen CONNIE BENSEN Director of Social Media & Community Strategy Alterian
@mikearauz MIKE ARAUZ Strategist Undercurrent
@nenshad Nenshad Badoliwalla Co-author Driven to Performance
@adamcohen ADAM COHEN Partner Rosetta
@danielwaisberg DANIEL WAISBERG Head of Web Analytics Easynet
@communitygirl ANGELA CONNOR Journalist & Community Strategist
@trendsspotting TALY WEISS CEO and Head of Research TrendsSpotting.com