How to harvest content in the age of ‘trusted relationships’…

Michael Moon – author of the book Firebrands – hypothesized prophetically and correctly 15 years ago when he stated that we had moved beyond the information age to the age of trusted relationships. I always found this curious because we had just entered the era of the personal internet – surely THIS was the information age! What was Moon thinking?

Just a few years later, however, Eric Schmidt of Google stated:

Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003, according to Schmidt. That’s something like five exabytes of data, he says.

Let me repeat that: we create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003.

“The real issue is user-generated content,” Schmidt said. He noted that pictures, instant messages, and tweets all add to this.

So apparently Moon really nailed it when he said that we would need to rely on trust networks in order to manage all the information we need to do our jobs; networks of trusted sites, searches and sources that would wade through all these exabytes with surgical precision and deliver the goods we need to do nourish our expertise.

Recently, author Nilofer Merchant added a new aspect to the ‘trust network’ discussion in her book 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era [affiliate link] when she pointed out that another aspect of work in the #socialera – work is now freed from jobs:

“This means that human resources change when most of the people who create value are neither hired nor paid by you. And competition has changed so that any company can achieve the benefits of scale through a network of resources”.

Merchant, Nilofer (2012-09-12). 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era (Kindle Locations 665-676). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

As Schmidt says the real issue is user-generated content. People all over the internet are posting, pinning and tweeting up a storm! We can leverage all this activity for our own thought leadership if we simply track the sites, searches and sources that publish in our brand space and then leverage that content to provide social proof of our own thought leadership…

I’ll try to explain it better here:

Here’s a growing list of tools that help me track the sites, searches and sources I need to nourish my thinking:

[listly id=”6P9″ layout=”full”]


This list will have a permanent home on the site here. Questions? Feedback? Specifically, do you have a cool tool that I missed?

4 thoughts on “How to harvest content in the age of ‘trusted relationships’…

  1. Todd, nice article.
    If you call Vimeo, YouTube, & Pinterest a “Tool” then I would think the Search Engine loaded “Google Plus” should be on your list for if it is used well, then it can be a creation place like few others… a Tool of content creation that can lead to discovery. Or asked another way… why are those listed as ‘tools’, but G+ is not?


    1. Here’s the major difference; Google+ is a walled garden. These other tools allow for creation of rss feeds, automation, etc. Google+ is valuable, but not in the same way as the other one. I know, I know, you’ve built your career around Google+; however, beware of the old proverb ‘To the man with a hammer, every problem is a nail’. Google+ is not the whole internet any more than AOL was two decades ago…


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