"Oh, I Really Love Your Blog."

In chapter six of Trust Agents, they talk about accepting every friend request you receive because it builds your network and connections. But for me, maybe it’s because I was raised with the “stranger danger” motto, but I personally love the decline and block button. My social media network definitely has its boundaries, specifically with Facebook. On Twitter, I’m a little more lenient, but I’m also more careful about what type of information I post on there because since it is open to the public not everyone needs to know my business. Another part of chapter six that kind of rubbed me the wrong way was when the authors described their online tactics. Truthfully, it reminded me of some sleazy guy playing the field at a bar analyzing every move of his prey. It also feels like every strategic move the author has for something is just a way to take advantage of and get something out of someone, be it a stranger or a friend. Kind of like, “I’m only leaving you this blog comment because I’m going to need something from you in the future. I really could care less about this post.” How many people have seen the movie Mean Girls? There is a scene in the movie where the leader of the pack uses the phrase “Oh, I really love your (skirt, bracelet, purse, etc.),” to manipulate them for her next move. Chapter six reminds me of the exact type of scenario. 

It may seem like it so far, but I really didn’t completely hate Trust Agents. In fact, I liked the tips they provided in chapter eight because no matter what industry you’re in you can apply these tips somehow. Whereas previous books we read for this class spoke a lot about the different tools of social media, this book provided you with a broader understanding of how to approach social media because without a doubt it’s going to change continually.

Also in chapter eight, they mention the use of improvisation. The College of Business offers an improvisation course (that also plays the “Yes, and…” game as one of their lesson plans) that I think more mass communication students need to know about to possibly take it as an elective. Just as in the real world, there is so much non-verbal communication that goes on online that we don’t realize. We call ourselves “communicators” and aren’t even aware of what we’re communicating.

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I completely agree with Martin and Todorov (2010) that people are going to be more likely to pay attention to your brand if the way you approach them is useful to them. Customization and personalization always attracts people, because people are in love with themselves and want to leave their mark everywhere and on everything, such as on Facebook or Twitter. This goes along with Feldner and Meisenbach’s (2007) article mentioning how the Internet gives people a voice and acts as more of a two-way, dialogic communication. The most important thing to remember before brands approach their audience is that they must do some prior research and fully understand their audience’s wants and needs before they can act.

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Long et al. (2007) discuss using blogs as a public relations tool to connect and build relationships with publics. While I think this is a great idea, and for certain brands this is the perfect way to reach their audiences, I can’t recall ever using a blog personally to connect with a brand. To be honest, and I know it sounds horrible, but the only blog I regularly and make a point to check is Perez Hilton. In a Google search, something I need might come up in someone’s blog, but that doesn’t make me feel more connected to them because I never participate back in the conversation.

Editor's Note: I don't agree with the Trust Agents' online tactics and way of getting around things. If I say I like something, I actually like it - otherwise you just wouldn't hear from me.