A coaching client asked me yesterday why if I am so against cluttering up blogs with widgets do I show my FeedBurner count and Technorati button on my blog?
Before I answer check out this from Wired about an eBay study …
After 470 auctions, Resnick found that the Swansons’ main account, with its high customer rating, earned an average of 8.1 percent more per transaction than the fakes. It was the first hard proof that a feedback score —” a number generated by a collection of unrelated people —” carries quantifiable real-world value. “What we’re seeing here is a new kind of trust,” Resnick says. “It’s a kind of impersonal trust geared to situations with lots of interactions among strangers.”
Human beings are wired to look for tiny danger signals. “Bad” things make us feel on edge. At the same time we look for signs that we can trust. In interpersonal exchanges these will be non-verbal signals, often that say “I am just like you” or “I am popular and trusted by others”.
E-commerce customers especially look for “Trust Marks”; is the site secure, are there testimonials, who does their card processing, are there contact details …
We put an enormous weight on the opinion of others. That is why testimonials and reviews work so well, and why the eBay trader rating scheme was such an inspired idea. It is though possible to infer trust from something as small as a FeedBurner count, an SOB award or even an ad from a prominent and respected company.
What do you think to yourself when you see buttons such as these?