Friday, October 2, 2015

"The Internet of Trust"

As noted in the intro to last month's "Marketing--'Trust me for God’s sake'":
That's Turkey's Minister of Economic Affairs reassuring citizens that things are fine and makes a nice jumping off point for this piece.
With a nod towards FT Alphaville's Izabella Kaminska, who's dug deeper into this stuff than I have...
From Motherboard:
Last night was Motherboard's publisher's birthday, and standing in a bar surrounding by a bunch of people whom I very much care for and many other people I've never seen in my life and probably will never know, I, a person who's dealt with as much social anxiety as any of us, felt more at ease than I have in awhile. Why? Well, regardless of whether or not we'd ever actually shoot the shit, I could at least rely on the fact that—barring some sort of They Live situation—everyone in the room was real.

The internet is very real, an existent space where we work and love and no longer have to preface any of those things with "cyber" to denote that they're only half-real. The internet is a real enough space for us to colonize, real enough to lay siege to. But as we further accept the internet as an actual venue in which we visit and live (for better or worse), a little problem that's licking at the edges of our metaverse is only getting bigger: The internet as a whole may be very real, but it's virtually impossible to know just how real its constituent parts actually are.

It's not some grand metaphysical problem, it's just little stuff. Some people spend a little more time honing their tweets to be funnier than they are in real life, others have figured out the perfect angle to contort their faces for more attractive selfies. Lots of people fudge their LinkedIn just a little bit; many many more say things they'd never say face-to-face.

Humans are incredibly subjective creatures who happen to be piss-poor at perceiving reality in any sort of uniform fashion, and data sets (even enormous ones) based on human experiences are extremely messy. This will change.

There's an off chance you heard about Peeple this week, a so-called "Yelp for People" that aims to answer the question of how shitty we all are. Laying aside the issues of spamming and vote rigging and reputation hacking inherent to a network where you can review anyone, regardless of whether or not they have a profile, I think our own Jordan Pearson hit the nail on the head: Peeple is for employers more than anything else.

This, of course, assumes that Peeple will actually take off. Jason Koebler argues that it won't, which is fair. It's certainly not the first attempt. But it's equally fair to guess that Peeple is just hoping its reputation-verification system gets acquired by LinkedIn, or perhaps Facebook, which very much is interested in ensuring all of its users are just as real as they are in real life....MUCH MORE