Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Science of Trust in Social Media

I am one of those people who always needs to see proof of some assertion, evidence to back up a claim. While I can accept anecdotal evidence in the right context, justifying decisions beyond how good the local taco hut is requires more than just musings from friends or co-workers.

In an article posted to Mashable today titled, "The Science of Building Trust With Social Media," the author attempts to explain trust in social media through the lens of psychological research. He references a Wikipedia entry on fundamental attribution error and then uses that to frame some of the dust-up between Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines (at CNN, at Huffington Post, at LA Times).

The author does make a good point at the end about how the lack of body language (facial expressions, overall body cues) can make the medium very difficult to navigate. He even cites a video featuring the Domino's Pizza president overlaid with a graphic of the audience response based on body language. See the video below.

The article itself is anecdotal, but at least it's interesting.

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