Friday, May 23, 2008

Beyond answers

I've talked a lot about looking for information or knowledge and how to ensure that it's trusted, especially when coming from individuals. But this extends beyond getting answers about something. Consider the following:

Buying things
Let's suppose you want to buy a second-hand car. You may prefer to get a private sale rather than pay excessive fees through a dealership. However, how do you trust sellers? Sure, someone may have a good eBay feedback rating, but are they reputable when it comes to cars and car sales? Without such authority, perhaps you would prefer to buy from someone you know, directly or indirectly? If you have 200 direct connections, you may easily have 10,000+ friends-of-friends, one of whom may have a car for sale.

Finding a flatmate
Looking for a trustworthy flatmate? A friend or friend-of-friend would be an obvious choice. Why then do so many people resort to looking for strangers on sites such as Gumtree and Easy Roommate? Is there an easy way to validate the credibility and suitability of strangers?

Friends-of-friends again are an obvious route again. But it's not that easy to find out about them without going to lots of parties!

Looking for job candidates
If you can't find suitable candidates in your immediate network, what about people in your 2nd and 3rd degree networks? They're more likely to be trusted than complete strangers. But if you do look for people unconnected to you, how can you validate that they have the expertise they say they have?

Know Between is considering venturing into all these areas. There are big opportunties to better find trusted people for you and your transactions.

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