I’ve been haunted by the term, “stranger network,” which I came across in the transcript of a recent PRSA digital conference. Tom Smith, Founder and Director at Trendstream, a digital consulting firm based in London, was the author of the a presentation he gave called “How Did We Come to Trust Strangers?” The audio of his talk is located at http://bit.ly/x1i67. His remarks led to an “a ha” that I’d like to share. In his new perspective on the world:
1) We trust total and complete strangers
2) Strangers drive our knowledge, ideas and decisions
Just think about that a minute and examine your own recent relationships. How did you connect? Have you met them? I’m now taking a 12-week webinar course led by a woman I have never met, who was recommended by a colleague who has never met her. I’ve never met the consultant who works with me on my website/blog. Yet they both have become important people in my life. Another consultant friend works with a virtual assistant half way across the country — they were working together for 10 years and had never met. Then the VA planned a trip to New York and they finally sat down face to face. Guess what? It was a totally awkward conversation and they found they had almost nothing to say to each other outside of their virtual connection.
Who are the strangers you trust? Have you ever been let down, disappointed, betrayed?