Brad Feld

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It’s The Trust, Stupid

Dec 05, 2005
Category Investments

There are three words I’m starting to see regularly in the recursive world of blogs (blogs about blogs) and user-generate content (yes – there is an awful lot of user-generated content about user-generated content, including this blog post.)

  1. Trust
  2. Attention
  3. Relevance

Unfortunately for my title to be cute, pithy, and remind us of a president who actually had a clue even though he couldn’t manage to keep his zipper up (oops, did I say that), I could only use one of the words.  So – how about a haiku since when I get older I want to be like Yoda.

It’s the trust, stupid
Pay attention people
Relevance it is

While you might end up feeling like you are playing buzzword bingo, these three words (ok – concepts) are going to start weaving themselves into a lot of the user-generated content dialogue.  Why – just this morning – Judy’s Book (my newest investment) announced “TrustScore(SM)”, a mechanism for delivering at-a-glance scoring of local consumer reviews on the Judy’s Book site.

This stuff isn’t trivial to figure out.  Seth Goldstein, who is working on Root Markets and AttentionTrust, is deep into the Attention concept.  My friends at NewsGator are deep into the Relevance and Attention concepts.  The key – of course – is to get this right and completely hide it from the end user (ah – the brilliance of Google Page Rank).  Mr. End User wants to automagically get the most relevant, trusted stuff and ignore the other n-thousand pieces of email / blog / web / RSS clutter that vies for his attention every day.

We need a TLA for Trust / Attention / Relevance – how about TAR?  Or ART?  Or RAT?