Collaborative Consumption

One thing which excites me about Transliteracy is, because of its newness, the skills involved are not well-defined. It seems like many people interested in the topic have an “I know it when I see it” approach to identifying skills and these skew toward computer-related skills, which is entirely legitimate since the need to be transliterate most obviously manifests itself when confronted with a new technology. Of course, Transliteracy involves a whole swath of cognitive skills that transcend navigating new technology.

One factor that suddenly seems, to me, so essential to Transliteracy, and not, perhaps, a skill per se, is the issue of trust. This insight dawned on me while watching Rachel Botsman’s TED presentation. Because Transliteracy often concerns itself with social media, the development of trust becomes very important. To a certain extent, trust is a teachable skill and librarians invest a great deal of effort in instilling notions of trust. How do we trust that a web site is reliable? But beyond that, individuals need to learn how and when other individuals are trustworthy. In a way, this notion of trust seems an obvious component of Transliteracy, but it only recently dawned on me how essential it is to our discussion.

Watch what Botsman has to say about trust. Does it seem like trust is an important element of our conversation? How teachable is trust? Can the level of trust she talks about be taught or are we relying on a cultural shift?

3 Responses to “Collaborative Consumption”

  1. davidrothman.net » Commensurable Nonsense (Transliteracy) Says:

    [...] at this post by Tom [...]

  2. StevenB Says:

    You might enjoy this column I recently wrote about the issue of trust http://bit.ly/hxiVF3
    While it’s important that librarians educate their communities so that they can better judge what is trustworthy and not, first we need to gain (or re-gain) their trust. We can’t assume that everyone trusts librarians – and that is a cultural shift (more on that in the column).

    • Tom Ipri Says:

      Thanks for the link, Steven. We are in the midst of an interesting cultural shift, as you point out, with a lot of implications about how we think of authority. And as more and more people engage into more and more social networking tools, the issue of trust becomes paramount.


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