Manish Mohan has only recently written a post about trust. He made me think about this, and the decisions that I may have to make when I read a blog post.
I thank Manish for making me ponder deeply about this matter. He prompted me to leave a comment on his post that carried a weighty and profound question: Do You Trust Corporate Blogs? It went something like this:
Trust is a strange human emotion. It is deep-rooted in our instinctive mechanisms for survival. When the reason for a decision based on trust is analysed, it is often found to be highly complex. The nature of the complexity is often found to be meshed with a whole raft of subliminal things: hunches, preferences, likes and dislikes, gut feelings, undefined reasons.
It is rarely cut and dry - rarely logical.
So when you ask, "Do you trust corporate blogs?" I think about trust, and what it is based on.
You could say, "do you trust blogs?" Many people don't trust blogs - never mind the corporate bit.
And so we move on to ask questions like, "what is it about a particular blog that you trust?" You could also say, "why trust blogs at all?"
A more in-depth analysis of trust (associated with blogs or any other Internet sites) will yield other questions. Questions like, "how can you tell that a site is trustworthy? (Never mind the 'blog' or the 'corporate' bit).
For me, all sites have to be tested by my baloney detector, whether corporate or not. As naive as it may seem, I apply exactly the same detection kit to all blogs that I read (and all posts for that matter).
Trust is a movable feast. The occurrences on sites permit me to decide whether to trust them or not. There are some sites that I used to trust, and now trust no longer. I don't visit these sites anymore - at least, if I happen to come across them, I don’t comment on them. It's a bit like the people I meet in everyday life.
I recently received a request from a company (which I won't name here) to post articles on my blog. Effectively I was being asked to host articles.
The email included a couple of links to company sites. I looked at the sites. They were corporate and commercial. The advertising that would come with the articles I might agree to host contravened my comment guidelines. I immediately treated the request (which incidentally was written like a personal email) as spam. End of story.
Did I trust the request? Yes. Did I trust the attendant sites? No.
So, do I trust corporate sites? The answer is, it depends.
I am no more likely to 'trust' a corporate site than any other site that I come across. Every site I read is judged (by me) on its own merits.