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31TH July 2013

Culture - Legends and tales - Mobile - Social - Timely

#Weiner, Trust and our digital worlds

Trust me.

Trust me.

“This was done in the privacy of my own home” says NYC Mayoral Candidate Anthony Weiner about his recent social media escapades in this YouTube.

Quaint, but utterly disconnected with the world around him, and how it works.

Why the disconnect? The world has changed (well, we added another, parallel one). Think of it like this: if you wink at someone across the table, it’s likely going to be private or at least defensible under “he said, she said”. If you tweet your groin from the privacy of your home IT IS NOT private. Flash a favorite finger to the jerk that cut you off in traffic: likely private. Wake up in a gutter: likely private. Post the evenings fall from grace: not private.

Why is this so?

So here is the point people have to get used to: we spend a significant slice of time on Mobile and social, and it generates data that sticks to us, much different than a passing glimpse, a rude gesture, a wink or a smile. And then there’s the timing. Private vanishes in an instant. Public lasts, and will sometimes surface when you least need it. Just ask job applicants, college freshman, recent girlfriends and people from Craigslist that want to buy my last iPhone.

These are the emerging realities of our digital evolution: own your actions, especially if they are recordable. And if they are digital, they are likely recordable. And spare me the outrage when it is presented in all it’s glory at the moment of decision. Politicians, of all people, should heed the warning.

But what about all the good stuff we do? Can’t it outweigh- or at least temper the indiscretions of a life well lived? We are human, after all. Since all this data is beginning to inform decisions in a widening scope where social checks are relevant can be appended to the old school check of of name, address, social and date of birth. It’s a new take on building trust, and it’s growing quickly. AirBnB obsesses about it. Zest certainly thinks so it works (as does Peter Theil who plunked down $20large in their latest round). And many more are about to follow as the concept goes from the “sharing economy” to the general populace.

So, when would this data be helpful? Well, imagine a scenario when you are at risk to someone you don’t really know. Like hiring a nanny, borrowing a relay-ride car, Crashing at a vacation home arranged online. These are all things i did in the last 30 days, and relied on trust data to make my decision.

Maybe we should consider that when … Asking for a vote!!! 


This post made without any obvious jabs at Weiner. Plenty of those here .

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