Meeting people online - who do you trust? @respectconnect #Ten4Trust

Connect.Me is developing into an interesting experience as a new group of people gradually get their heads around ways of consolidating their own networks and identifying who they trust most to publicly vouch as being people they genuinely trust. Despite still being in 'private beta' it is getting some significant interest from the wider world and I am not entirely surprised. I particularly like the fact that their intentions are to create something that is NOT yet another social network that needs to be managed (thank goodness for that), but instead to behave more like a directory of trusted contacts.

Whilst it can be argued that we could just ask our friends for advice about the contacts we need, the challenge is that they may not be available just when you need to know. Doing a basic search online brings up so many possibilities and there is little to tell us which are the scam artists and which are going to be reliable enough to do a good job.

It is actually quite a challenge thinking about those we think that we can trust. What criteria should we use? Should we only vouch for people we have met? Can we vouch for people we have never nor likely to meet?

These are snapshot of just a few of the connections I value and people I follow....

Robert Scoble I have never met Robert and may never do so either. I can't even say that I have even conversed with him. However, I do trust what he offers. He is an authoritative source of valuable information and news about what is happening in the world of technology and how that impacts the world online. As a user of SM tools his advice is often spot on.

Tom Cooley Never met and never actually talked with him but we have found ourselves on more than a couple of the same virtual paths over the last year. I first encountered Tom on Empire Avenue - often found in the chat giving invaluable support and advice to anyone needing some guidance. He follows a similar philosophy as myself and gives very good social media advice. He also has an interest in ecological and environmental issues through his focus on hydroponics - I like that.

Karin Sebelin A PR expert from Germany she is also someone I have not met but have known online for some time now. We have got as far as having a Skype chat though. She is one of those special people who is consistently supportive and very willing to share valuable information far and wide. An asset to any network especially as she has a very clear understanding of how social media platforms work.

Chris Bose and Peter Hodgson have been members of the boardroom in Bristol along with William Buist, for most of the last two years. Chris's understanding of marketing and internet technology is superb. Peter's knowledge of networking is exemplary. Insightful, straight talking and exceptionally knowledgeable about business they are each very supportive in their own ways. I respect and value them enormously for their contributions over the years. It is through the boardrooms that the level of trust that we share goes further than just a business acquaintance and friendship. On many occasions in-depth conversations have been made possible and had a huge impact because of the fact that we all trust that confidentiality is implicit in our relationship which is highly respected.

Sharon Leighton Her support over the years has been immense having helped me enormously with the work that I do. Whilst I know nothing about her role in the pharmaceutical industry, I do have first hand experience of her training and management skills. She is consistent in the way that she encourages those who work in her teams. As the result of working with her creating and delivering workshops and talks on social media, we have become quite the double act!

Jo Berry Peace ambassador, conflict coach, boardroom participant, friend and an 'ideal client' who is an absolute joy to work with. Jo has an amazing message to share with the world having been on an incredible journey of personal and professional development. She demonstrates that she trusts me which means that I am more willing to offer her whatever support I can.

Thomas Power for his extraordinary understanding of how emerging technologies will impact people and the commercial world. Take notice when he says something particularly off the wall because we can trust that his predictions are probably not far off the mark.

Penny Power As founder and original instigator of Ecademy, her consistent focus on a vision to show support, compassion and empathy to small business owners is second to none. I am sure that her insistence on putting 'heart' into everything online has taught many tough nuts to soften and live a gentler life.

William Buist Collaboration expert, social media aficionado and a consultant with a specialist knowledge of effective business models, his input is superb. We can certainly trust that he will find a way to look at things from a completely new perspective which is invaluable when trying to solve the most challenging of conundrums. His insights are always delivered in a forthright way but with care and compassion. A friend who regularly cajoles and encourages those he likes and respects to push out their boundaries and strive to do great things.

During the last few years I have come across numerous people online who have add fantastic value to my life and would be a valuable asset to anyone's network. Deciding who to trust gets easier as we become more in tune with picking up the signals of those who are less authentic than they could be. Whilst these are not strictly my top ten as such, everyone on this list are people I would recommend getting to know. I trust them for the part that they have played in my journey of learning about the online world. Most I have met and got to know in real life in which case they have become more than just an address card. They have become friends.

Have you thought about who you trust? Who would be on your list of top ten most trusted contacts?

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Robert Craven


Meeting people online - who do you trust? @respectconnect #Ten4T

Georgina Interesting blog. People have to earn one's trust. Too many people assume it. Keep up the good blogs. RC


Georgina Lester


Meeting people online - who do you trust? @respectconnect #Ten4T

Thank you Suz! I too think that the majority of people are good and have good intentions. The tiny number of not-so-honouarable people might be tricky to find but as you say, we can't let that stop us from living our lives as we want. There are different levels of trust anyway and our internal mechanism for making decisions about how we decide how much we can trust someone can give us different answers for different scenarios. For example ... Can I trust the builder to turn up when he says he is going to? NO! Can I trust him to do a good job when he does eventually arrive? Yes absolutely. How that is conveyed to others I think is important when we do make introductions and recommendations. In this instance, I might say - "He's a bit unpredictable about when he will do the job but when he does do it, it's well done." It's honest, to the point and does not paint any false pictures setting the wrong expectations. The same applies when introducing people for more serious reasons. The biggest betrayal of trust is about our expectations not being met. For us to build trust I think that we need to be care-full about ensuring that others understand what to expect from us. That comes with time, good communication and consistent behaviour. If problems occur - then I think our reactions depend on how seriously that trust has been betrayed and how others might be affected. It might be a case of just communicating about our expectations but in other instances more serious action is necessary and appropriate. As far as my list is concerned - yes everyone is a member here but for the most part they are listed here because of how they have influenced me online NOT because they are the most trusted people here on Ecademy. That is another list for another day. There may be overlaps. Robert is friends with Thomas but actually I know him from many many other platforms NOT from Ecademy. Tom came here but is not active here. My contact with him came about because of Empire Avenue. Karin was introduced to me here on Ecademy but no longer here. She is very active on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Chris Bose and Peter Hodgson - were introduced to me through the Boardrooms. Sharon I know through our local women's networking organisation. She has nothing to do with the Ecademy preferring LinkedIn which is more appropriate for her business. Jo - yes Ecademy introduced her but again through the boardrooms, working with her and our friendship we do little here preferring personal contact. Thomas, Penny and William are Ecademy. We have worked together and been in situations where trust has been very much at the forefront of our interactions. Yes Ecademy IS the online world as it is invariably ahead of its time with many of its developments and integration with the rest of the online world.


Susanne Palm


Meeting people online - who do you trust? @respectconnect #Ten4T

I trust most people, both off and online. I have lived in Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, UK, France, Bali and Taiwan and also visited many other countries for longer periods. In my mind, 99 percent of the world population is good and and has enough good intentions to become a friend. The little 1 percent who isn't, can be tricky to find out who they are, but this can't stop me from living my life. If problems occur, the old rule is: 1. Ignore 2. Keep distance 3. Move on Online is a special problem as it sometimes is an one way communication. We write to "our readers" but we don't know who in the big cyber world is actually reading it or looking at our pictures. For this reason, I never share too private information about me or information about people close to me and/or if they are under 18. When I see the list of names in the blog, it looks like Ecademy is the online world, that's however not my perception at all. Or is this blog about who do you trust on Ecademy? Trust for what, in that case? Friend? Business referral? Advice? Investment? I exchange advice and business referrals with any friend. When it comes to investments, that would anyway require another kind of professional judgement that has less to do with friendship. Trust is important and I think this is a very interesting blog! Kind regards Suz


Zara Lockwood


Meeting people online - who do you trust? @respectconnect #Ten4T

I trust social networkers more than politicians


Julia McDaid


Meeting people online - who do you trust? @respectconnect #Ten4T

Its a very good question, and not one that will be answered instantly at all. For me anyway. I like your list, though I don't know them all, I do trust your recommendation ;-) It's interesting that we don't have to have met someone to be able to pick up whether they are authentic and whether we resonate with them, we can learn this even online. It may take a little longer, though I think not necessarily, I have certainly "met" people here that I felt were my kind of people, and had this confirmed when I met them in person.