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05TH August 2011

Creative problem Solving - Uncategorized

About that TrustGap in the Sharing Economy: OnLine Hallpass anyone?

Sharing might be better with TrustCards like this...

“I let someone sleep over, and next thing you know my place was cleaned me out!”.

The mainstream media has picked up on an issue that recently blew up in the tech space, which until recently before that no-one seemed to care about outside the “Sharing Economy”: when you expose your offline things based upon online promises, you’re out there baby.

It all began with a AirBnB’s host post on his blog, and follow-up TechCrunch article about an AirBnB guest that sacked his host’s apartment even as he was texting him nice compliments about the decor.

It went viral, AirBnB responded pretty well, but it exposed the big issue in the space: the Trust Gap. And the space is getting a lot of buzz and a lot of creative ways to foster “Collaborative Consumption”. Check out the Master list of companies that already are part of the #CollaborativeConsumption Community. And a tip of the hat to Rachel Botsman, the first one (I think) to define Collaborative Consumption and a tireless evangelist for the value of this movement: better utilization of assets/abhorring waste of excess capacity, the green play, being socially responsible, and saving money as well. I have written about the movement before in Catfish, Trust Me Once, and It’s Heuristics, among others.

Craig Newmark says, “Trust is the new Black” , which I infer to mean that, “if The Sharing Economy is the cool thing to do (besides the benefits above), it will need a way to find ways to use all the data online to inform our offline decisions, like what is laid out in this cool infographic from Morgan Clendaniel”.

One potential solution comes from TrustCloud’s beta “Trust Pass” which scrapes and scrubs data from your online behavior and generates badges (and soon scores) on your key Trust Attributes (loosely outlined here). I don’t know all the heuristics behind it, but I do know it is based on key Trust indicators I have blogged about. I jumped on the top secret beta (ok, less than secret already) and typed in a few of my favorite twitter handles and voila: a hint about trust. At this point it shows layers like Connector, Worldly, Longtimer, Influencer and Interactive, which are fancy titles for the heuristics which inform the likelihood of a trust-able soul both online and offline. A humble attempt at Rachel Botsman’s TrustPass is rendered above.

Could this be a small step toward bridging the TrustGap between online and offline behavior? Love to hear your feedback.

Full disclosure: I am an angel investor in TrustCloud mentioned above.





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