How Do You Filter For Relevant Content Online?
During my panel session at the Orange County Social Media Summit, I shared some thoughts with the audience about social influence. I was responding to a question about what tools those of us on the panel might recommend for filtering relevant content in the stream of information — and noise — that scrolls by in our various online networks.
I was confident that the other guys on the panel had some very useful suggestions for apps and software. (In fact, they did… a few of which I want to try myself.) But, for my part, rather than chime in with yet another software recommendation, I wanted to suggest a more human-centric filter. Specifically, you and me.
We Are Part Of the Solution to Information Overload
We — you and I — could just as well be part of the solution for filtering and managing information overload.
In a previous post (ref: 6 factors of social influence – why you should fight for them) I wrote about why trust and transparency are such important qualities in nurturing our ability to have positive influence upon others — while also allowing others in our network to have positive influence upon us.
That’s a tall order; it implies you and I relinquishing a bit of control to others. Hence the trust factor.
My point in my response on the panel was to suggest that we (i.e., the audience, you, me) can very well be a filter of information for each other–but we have to also evaluate each other’s trustworthiness in living up to 6 important factors contributing to influence or persuasion.
When you consider the volume of information that you and I wade through every day, it’s hard to fathom how it would be possible to verify the reliability of much of that information on our own.
My suggestion? We can’t. And that’s why I have to rely on your ability to influence me with information you filter for me. (And, me – you.)
Let Me Influence You and I’ll Let You Influence Me
We do this for each other via the things we “Like,” “Retweet,” or otherwise share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other networks. Then, if trust is present — and if I, for example, allow you to influence me (because I trust you), then I’d be inclined to take at face value that the thing you shared with me is reasonably valid. In other words, I can take a social short cut and forego having to take the time to research the truth in that thing you shared because I’ve decided to trust you to influence me in this way.
But, in the process of us trusting each other enough to allow us to influence each other, it behooves us to first evaluate the other’s trustworthiness according to 6 characteristics: reciprocity, consistency, social proof, like-ability, authority and scarcity. I explain each of those characteristics in the video above.
After hearing what I have to say in the video, take a quick scan, too, of the highlights in my previous post about influence and the need to retaliate — yeah, I said retaliate — when I break your trust — and when you break mine.
Then let me know what you think. Do these manifestos make sense in the context of our focus on creating relevant and trustworthy content for those who consume our content?