Authenticity and Trust

    June 17, 2005

Jesper and Jon is is looking for input on the relation between authenticity and trust. They believe there’s a strong relation between them…

We have ended up with a trust-authenticity duality; you can’t have one without the other. On one hand authenticity leads to trust, as human beings, we dare trust a person who is authentic. On the other hand we need a certain level of trust to actually perceive a person as being authentic. The relation between the two is way more complex though!

Do you have examples of what makes you perceive a blogger or a company as authentic? they ask. Well, I would like to throw “personality” in, and as a result of that a blogger’s more or less unique voice.

Authenticity is, to me, a process and not a situation. As Jesper and Jon seem to think, it’s something being built (or not) over time. There are many different ingredients in it. When we’re talking about corporate blogging one important ingredient is transparency. I want to read things that I wouldn’t have read in other channels of corporate communication. But within their duality this actually relates more to “trust”, which still leaves the question of authenticity unanswered.

And that’s where I turn to “personality” to find an explanation of authenticity. It’s impossible to say what in a text that conveys personality. It will differ between bloggers — and that’s also the point.

I read bloggers that have an annoyingly big ego.
I read bloggers that are impressed by other’s egos.
I read bloggers that asks more questions than they give answers.
I read bloggers that never doubts their own answers.
I read bloggers that tell me about their family and friends.
I read bloggers that I doubt have friends.

But they’re all personalities to me. I know how they write. They might surprise me, they might even be unpredictable in what they say and think, but I’m sure it’s them.

That’s authenticity to me.

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Fredrik Wacka is the author and founder of the popular CorporateBlogging.Info blog which is a guide to business and corporate blogging.

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