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Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Julien Smith, Chris Brogan

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Chapter 6. Human Artist

What if Etiquette Isn't a "Nice to Have" Skill?

The balance of power within company-to-customer relationships has changed. Companies have had a great run from the 1950s to the early 2000s. Consumers devoured media and extra helpings of advertisements. We accepted that companies we patronized offered exactly what we needed. We nodded our heads. But those days are over.

Today, it's the consumer's world, and even in business-to-business land, the buyer is always in the better position. We have an infinite supply of goods and services looking for our consumption. There are seemingly endless possibilities and ever-increasing standards and demands. And when we are less concerned with quality, we just don't care enough to need to know. It makes for a strange place to consider business relationships. That's where etiquette comes in.

In the days when mass communication and pure advertising were all the rage, or at least the norm, etiquette was something used only by actors, copywriters, and the HR department. Look at your company's employee performance reviews. Is there anything there about etiquette? Maybe it's hidden in the company code of conduct. Are you familiar with that document? You get to read it and sign it every year in the bigger companies. It's something that senior management writes, usually with external forces, and that you're told to read, absorb, embody, and never cross.

In social media, human is the new black. People are the next revolution, and being ...

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