Businesses as altruists: Passing the Brogan trust test


If you’ve followed the debates about paid blog posts and sponsored Tweets, you know that advertisers are encroaching on editorial. But one of the most intriguing trends is editorial going the other way — with real, objective reporting being provided by businesses. We noted last week that IBM has launched a new Think portal filled with Economist-type content.

Now, the online personal finance aggregator, is offering news analysis to help consumers understand the complexities of different business sectors. Mint doesn’t have to do this — it could have a blog just promoting its own services — but the value it provides in understanding the financial world is intriguing enough that consumers may give it a shot at managing their finances, too. Uber-blogger Chris Brogan suggests in his new book Trust Agents that the formula for trust is the ratio of your authenticity to self-orientation. We agree, which is why paying bloggers to write reviews about your products fails the trust test, and why helpful, authentic resources like this from Mint pass with flying colors.

Bonus Points: The actual formula from page 79 of Brogan’s book is Trust = (Credibility x Reliability x Intimacy)/Self-orientation. On a scale of 1 to 10, plug your communications into this formula and see what the result would be.

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