Digital Credibility

Credibility is an essential component of any relationship, personal or professional. One key challenge of the digital world is how to create credibility for oneself among the many folks an individual interacts with casually.

I’ve come across a few digital experiences lately that shed light on the new ways we earn trust nowadays:

  • I took a tour of a social media command center at a major company. They explained that comments/complaints about their company are monitored across the web but that comments made by more influential people are addressed first. How do they know that someone is influential? Because they went to Harvard or hold a post in government? No (OK, there may be some exceptions.). Rather, the company sees how many followers an individual has, how many re-tweets of their comments there have been, etc. The day will come that having digital followers will be the quickest way to get your phone company, or mortgage company, to address a problem. In fact, that day has already begun.
  • The job search services site, Ivy Exec (where, incidentally and disclaimer-ly), I have a post about “How to Change Careers in a Knowledge Economy“), ask me to check out their new site. I was fascinated by the validation service they offer. For $68 they will perform a background check on you, to ensure that your resume is reliable. How will employers know to trust you? Because they may trust Ivy Exec.
  • The Harvard Business Review comments, in a piece about the work of Morten Hansen and his thoughts on collaboration, that we should strive to build weak ties at work, not strong ones. The point, I think, is that the premium on extending one’s ‘network of credibility’ is very great today.

What changes have you noticed, in terms of how you build professional credibility, in the past decade or so?


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