Trust – Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss

People, Profiles & Trust

Why do we need trust?

To not trust is to be paralysed.

Establishing trust:

Cf: an explicit trust-scheme, with points, to your own hacked-together home page. The profile does everything for you – presents all the info up front. The home page does nothing for you, but I can still get value – trust-value – out of this (liking what they like, agreeing with their style)

Flickr photostream is, to an extent, representing us. We also have deep connection to our own images, but can find identification in other people’s images too. (Espec. pictures of us)

Trust is not just something you need with a new person, though; it’s something you have to maintain throughout relationships.

Restrictions – that create social ambiguity – can help to maintain these relationships. Eg: if I call someone on the phone, doing something at the same time; where do you put attention? Don’t want to be rude to friend, but don’t want to compromise our relationship. What do I do? Teenagers say “I’m low on credit”. But it doesn’t matter what the reason is – the fact is: you have to go.

their book


Do these profiles change how we think of trust?

Back to the RapLeaf profile – you start basing your judgment of other people on the rapleaf badge on their profile; it’s influencing how you read that profile.

What does this mean for designers?

Trust-form within the micro-society of (Wikipedia) is very much identity-based. There’s lots of trust built-in around the idea of systems being absent. The systems hint that the core Wikipedians can’t keep track of these things themselves; ratings start making people questioning their ratings and people get singled out as individuals. Wikipedia works well because it’s so not focused on the individual.