Circles, networks, and the trust layer | Seth Godin

There's a lot going on in this analysis of trust (or lack of it) online. Some parts I agree with, some I don't. It's interesting thinking about the early web in the context of naive communities with integral trust:

Because each of [the groups that built the internet] were high-trust communities, it was easy to conclude that the people they’d be engaging online would be too. And so, as the tools of the internet and then the web were built out, they forgot to build a trust layer.

Also interesting to look at why trust models aren't baked into services online, either:

When a site decides to get big fast, they usually do it by creating a
very easy way to join, and they create few barriers to a drive-by
anonymous experience. And when they make a profit from this behavior,
they do it more. In fact, they amplify it.

And the negative impact that has on numbers versus community:

Because a collection of angry people talking past each other isn’t a community.

But for all I like about Seth's thoughts, I'm not sure I agree with the sentiment here:

...if someone goes into a bank wearing a mask (current pandemic aside) we can assume that they’re not there to make a deposit.

Anonymity still feels like an important aspect of the web, something worth preserving and fighting for. Does it have some issues? Sure, but I don't think it's the root issue that a lot of people portray it as, and it also has a lot of beneficial side effects as well. Seth's focus on community is more meaningful to me; a strong community, a strong sense of place and shared goals, that helps modulate behaviour far more than anonymity ever will (just look at Facebook 😬).

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  • There's a lot going on in this analysis of trust (or lack of it) online. Some parts I agree with, some I don't. It's interesting thinking about the early web in the context of naive communities with […]
  • Murray Adcock.
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