Scoble explains how trust can be contagious in groups

Quoting from The trust network at dinner with an author that I didn’t know (in Scobleizer):

How do you learn to trust/like/love someone new in your life?

Tonight I was at a dinner of about a dozen people. I was asked not to blog the dinner. But, I only knew three of the people there. Now, these were people who I REALLY TRUST. Folks who are leaders in industry. Who’ve been very successful. Who have helped me out a lot. People who I would invite over to sit on the Red Couch without a moment’s hesitation.

But, that left a bunch of people at the table that I didn’t know. That I didn’t trust.

One guy, sitting next to me, taught me how trust in groups works. He didn’t know he was teaching me anything. I just watched how the rest of the table interacted with him.

This was a person that several people at the table obviously liked. I watched their body language. I watched how they listened to him. I last saw this behavior when Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, spoke at Gnomedex. I turned to look at the audience and they were hanging on every word. Barely breathing. They were in a hyper attentive state. Eyes very focused. Breathing shallow.

So, anyway, I saw one of the three people who I knew walk over to the guy sitting next to me. Say “I’ve been such a fan for years.”

One of his answers during dinner let it slip that he was an experienced author. Had written several books. I still didn’t know his name, but by the end of the night I had transfered all the trust/love/adoration that the rest of the table had for my dinner mate to him too. I found myself becoming a fan and I didn’t even know what kinds of things he wrote. I just knew it had to be good the way my already-trusted friends were treating him.

When I left the dinner I still had no clue who this guy was. I had shared a dinner with him and only knew him as “Greg the author that my friends really loved.”

So, I rushed home, opened up my search engine, and searched on his name: Greg Bear.

What lessons does this have for blogging? Well, if three bloggers I know link to someone or something and say gushing things I’ll be highly likely to follow along too.

But Scoble, I thought you were asked not to blog the dinner?






3 responses to “Scoble explains how trust can be contagious in groups”

  1. cecil vortex Avatar

    that is one amazing anecdote. I was thinking exactly the same thing you wrote all through. bizarre that he could have posted that without even a nod to the fact that he was breaking trust from start to finish. And then, to actually name the mystery Greg…. Bizarre.

  2. filchyboy Avatar

    I too found it bizarre. I found myself getting increasingly uncomfortable the more I read.
    BTW I love Greg’s writing.
    Scoble though has injected a bit of distrust in my relationship with him. I have trusted him based on the accolades of 3 bloggers…

  3. cecil vortex Avatar

    I went ahead and asked him about this on the blog, and he told me not to tell anyone but — no, that’s not true. No limitations. Anyways, here was his response:
    “Cecil: they asked me not to blog about the content of the dinner (some people don’t like living as if there were a microphone in the room recording their every conversation).
    Talking about the people who were there was OK, according to the host. I’ve decided not to talk about the other participants, because then I’d feel a pull to tell you what they said and what we discussed. But, the post was how trust networks work, not about the dinner per se.”
    To which I responded that this brought up an intersting sidenote: that trust relationships have rules that folks out of the loop aren’t always aware of.