If it’s true that credibility and trust constitute major forms of social capital for businesses, then it follows that credibility and trust might be affected by what you post, of course, but also what you share. In the absence of any caveats, when you retweet or share, the assumption is that you feel the article/media is of value. That’s probably a poor assumption, but that’s how people look at it.
If that chains of thinking is accurate, then when you post something that you haven’t read, and that “something” is poor quality, then you damage YOUR reputation. Here’s a case in point.
Someone who calls himself “expert in service” posted the following on twitter:
I understand that Mr. ExpertInService found something in the article that he found valuable. That’s not the quibble. If you look at the article itself you should immediately begin asking questions. First, the article lacks any indication of authorship. That’s often an indicator that the article has been “scraped” or pirated without permission. Second, there’s no effort to corroborate the “facts” in the article, or to justify the title?
Why, in fact, should any of us believe what is in the article? Third, the article appears on a site that purports to be about parenting, and has nothing to do with customer service. Fourth, and perhaps the most obvious is the writing. Not only should the writing tell us the content has NO credibility, but it tells us a bit about who wrote this. For example the VERY FIRST sentence:
Kind of hard to miss. The entire articles is like that, and odds are it was written by someone who’s first langauge is not English. That it lacks authorship information should then suggest to us that this article was written, probably for a fee of a very few dollars, by someone in a developing country, and who was hired on the cheap, not because of knowledge, experience, etc, but simply that he or she would work for pennies on the dollar. In many cases, articles like these are rewrites of others work, plagarised, etc. They are “commissioned” by web site owners that have nothing to say on a topic, but hope to boost their readership via search engine optimization so they can sell things as affiliate marketers or make money from ads. At least that’s the hope.
Everyone has to make a living. I question the usefulness of both the original writer, or the person who might have paid to have it written, and wonder how anyone would want to make a living out of something so unhelpful, but that’s not the issue.
The article has zero credibilty. It asserts a number of things without substantiation. One cannot determine its truth value by the reputation of the writer, because we don’t know who that is. We do know the writer can’t write in English.
So Mr. ExpertinService shares this article, and adds a brief comment. What message does it send to readers? For me it completely shatters any credibilty Mr. ExpertinService might have. I’ll never click on another of his links. I’ll never take him seriously about customer service if he’s so silly to pass on something that is illiterate, anonymous, etc. I often look at profiles of people to see what they are about, but Mr. ExpertinService has put himself out of the playing field. Why bother.
I don’t know how other people would perceive Mr. ExpertinService. I’m at the point where I wonder if people actually read anything they mention, let alone try to understand what they are reading, and perhaps I’m the old anachronism that expects content to have original thought, substance, be reasonably written, and so on before I promote it and share it with others.
I think the moral of the story is this: If you want to be taken seriously by smart, intelligent, critically thinking people on your areas of expertise never do what Mr. ExpertinService did. READ what you recommend. And remember YOUR reputation is partly determined by the reputations of those you recommend.