Trust Agents (Revised and Updated): Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

Trust Agents (Revised and Updated): Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

by Chris Brogan, Julien Smith


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596595231
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 11/30/2010
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Chris Brogan is cofounder of PodCamp, a popular new media conference series focused on the use of social media to build business and personal relationships. He is a widely read blogger on the subject of social media. Find him at and on Twitter at

Julien Smith is a veteran trend analyst who has run Web communities for over ten years. He helps companies prepare for and profit from disruptive changes in their industries, and has appeared on news programs to represent companies and nonprofits in Canada and the U.S. Find him at and on Twitter at

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Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
dougcornelius on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Are You Trying to be a Trust Agent?Yes? Then you have probably already read at least part of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust, the new book from Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.Most likely, you are wondering what a ¿Trust Agent¿ is supposed to be.¿Trust agents have established themselves as being non-sales-oriented, non-high pressure marketers. Instead, they are digital natives using the web to be genuine and to humanize their business.¿The main premise is that cultivating ¿trust¿ will enable you and your business to succeed. They talk about creating this trust using social networks and online media. Be a trust agent and people will gravitate towards you when they need something, and then trust you with their information and leads. The book combines some theory, with the author¿s success stories, other relevant examples and actionable suggestions.Unfortunately, I found big chunks of the book to miss the mark for my involvement on the web. My original jump into the web was to see how these tools would work as knowledge management tools inside an organization. I found these web 2.0 tools were well ahead of the enterprise tools. My approach in using the web is for personal knowledge management.These tools (including this blog) are for me to find the information I need to succeed at my job and to organize that information for reuse. I use web tools for selfish reasons. They are really good at helping me collect information. That others can leverage my work is a by-product. That these tools allow me to stay connected with colleagues is a by-product.Some of that stems from the nature of my job and my company. We don¿t use the web to advance our corporate image. As the chief compliance officer I am not trying to sell anything, ever.But I do like staying connected with my colleagues and peers. There are many more people outside your organization who do what you do or have the information you need to succeed, than there are inside your organization.Trust Agents is about creating social capital. I think it could just as easily be called: ¿Don¿t be a jerk online.¿ They go into a lot more detail than that and come up with six characteristics of Trust Agents.1. Make your own game.Try new ways of doing things. Stand out from the crowd. First movers have an advantage. They quote Warren Buffet on when to enter a market: ¿Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.¿2. Be one of us.Be part of the community. Don¿t be the self-promotional jerk in the community who is continually handing out business cards and asking for business. Contribute to the community. You need to give first if you want to receive. The more you give, the better.3. Use the Archimedes EffectArchimedes propositioned that if he had a long enough lever and a fulcrum on which to place it, he could move the world. Leverage your message.4. Try to be Agent ZeroCultivate your personal networks and recognize their value. Connect with good people. Connect between different groups.5. Become a human artist.Learn how to work well with people and help empower people. You need to learn the etiquette and start off by listening to the community before you burst in with a full head of steam.6. Build an army.You can¿t do it alone. You need to find people who are willing to collaborate with you.If these concept resonate with you, then it is worth your time to read the book. If you are just starting out with web 2.0 tools you should heed the lessons in the book. Even if you are a wily veteran, you will find some useful information in this book.Trust Agents is a bit uneven at times. In places it reads more like a collection of blog posts instead of a coherent narrative. Some of their ideas are better flushed out than others. Those six characteristics don¿t have equal weight.
rightantler on LibraryThing 8 months ago
In 2007 I read Scoble and Israel's Naked Conversations. I was about a year late but found it of tremendous value. In some ways Trust Agents is the 2009 version of the same book with a focus on becoming a Trust Agent. It is likely to have the same value as Naked Conversations and will sit next to it on my bookshelf
rutherford on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is a great book, combining sound theory, relevant examples and actionable suggestions with an easy readable style. The main premise is that cultivating `trust¿ will enable you and your business to succeed. Most of this is talked about in terms of social networks or online media ¿ but the key points can be practiced offline as well ¿ be a trusted advisor and people will gravitate towards you when they need something, and then trust you with their information and leads.It is sage advice indeed ¿ and I ripped through this in a few days, coming away with some great suggestions on how to increase trust. Chris Brogan has an authentic voice in this area ¿ having established a successful blog and social network, as well as putting his money where his mouth is ¿ he is even open to giving the book away for charities and non profits.The book proposes that it will help you drive sales, get hired without a resume or just make your business more awesome than the others. At the very least, it will be a disruptive influence in your current working styles, and that is never a bad thingI wouldn¿t disagree with any of that ¿ I am confident this book will help you develop any relationship you have, beyond business.
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RobHES More than 1 year ago
For the professional (whether they are a marketer or otherwise), and the student (undergraduate or graduate marketing) this book is a very good resource. It provides an in-depth look at some of the things involved in social media marketing and provides actionable information that people can use to harness the power of Web 2.0 in their workplaces. I particularly enjoyed Chapter 4, the Archimedes Principle. The focus was on, predictably, leverage: getting the most result for the least amount of work. The focus of the bulk of the chapter is on time leverage, but the general principle holds true not only in social media marketing, but in organizational culture as well. As with the other chapters in the book, this one was peppered with useful information and specific websites/tools that one can use to enahnce their lives, work time, etc. It's easy to see from this book why Chris Brogan has done so well. For anyone who is interested in this sphere, and has a basic working knowledge of Web 2.0, then it's a great resource and really enlightening.
DanielaAxinte More than 1 year ago
How much time have you spent trying to understand the secret behind successful bloggers? My bet is that quite a lot. Chris Brogan and Julien Smith wrote a very easy to follow "how-to" book. Although it is not a step-by-step instruction book, Trust Agents walks you from finding your niche (Make Your Own Game chapter), to becoming "One of Us", to understanding how to leverage the human networks in a digital space, and how to build people's trust in the process. It turns out that achieving success in the Blogosphere is not as complicated as it might sound. And anybody - regardless of previous experience and knowledge - can achieve success. All that is required is passion, understanding of how online communities work, how to build their trust, and how to lead them. Easy.
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JenBeever More than 1 year ago
Some people understand that they should listen, be helpful, and be valuable to others online. Too many people jump onto Twitter and other social networking sites to sell to everyone. This book discusses how to be human and interesting online (and why). Ideally you should read this book before you join social networking sites, but it also has many takeaways for people who are already online and for those who are social networking professionals.
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ChrisBrogan More than 1 year ago
I cowrote this book with Julien Smith, so should you trust me? Seems like a great way to start a discussion about a book dealing with trust and how the online world has changed the equation. We've moved from asking our neighbors to believing advertising to asking people we've never met what they think about an issue. How does this work? And if you represent a business, how can you be sure that YOU are trusted? What makes some people influential in this new online space, and how come some big names with established brands and credibility can't yet crack the code of business-meets-online-relationships? Our book is not about social media. It's about business and how the web changed everything. Learn about how Frank Eliason changed customer service at Comcast. We think he's started something that will become the de facto standard of customer service. Find out why we call Perez Hilton the patron saint of changing the game. I think it's a decent book. It's not exactly scholarly. It's not a step-by-step manual, although there are tons and tons of actionable moves to take. I'm proud of my work on it. I hope you like it, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago