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Excellent points and unfortunately a scenario that scares me. Traditional forms of advertising exist and it's been proven time and time again and people are just not that interested in being bombarded with messages of "Look at me" "Buy This, Buy That."

The concepts moving into social engagement only stands to disrupt the positives existing in the conversations, but begin to sow the seeds of mistrust. If unbeknownst to me a friend is being paid by a brand because of their influence, and they in turn highly recommend something to me. Because they are my friend I'm likely to listen, but the day that it comes out they were paid to share that information is the day I block them from my list and I stop supporting the product. It's underhanded and goes against the "rules of engagement" in social communications.

Alternatively I don't hate all advertising. I definitely think there is a time and a place, but to risk the chance of losing some of the purity of our transparency and authenticity seems too high a price to pay.

I still rely heavily on peer recommendations and reviews before I make any purchases. I can honestly say that advertising has no effect on my purchase directly. They only make me aware of their brand, but I never go off face value.

Great post. Thank you

I recently bought a car through an auto broker. I hadn't met the broker before, but after talking with him a couple of times I felt I could trust him. His business was based on listening to me and getting me what I wanted. We could have a conversation because I trusted he had my best interests in mind.

A couple of weeks before I had gone to the dealer. They were nice, but I didn't trust them. They wanted to have a conversation. I didn't. I saw the conversation as a way to manipulate me. They ended up with my phone number and called and called and called to follow up. I didn't want to talk to them ever again. So I just ignored the calls.

In the online world, I often opt-in simply out of curiosity. I'm searching for someone to trust. If I trust you, I'm not likely to tell you. I will just listen. And if I don't trust you, I'm not likely to opt-out right away. I may just ignore you.

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