The Trust Spectrum

December 10th, 2008 by Gia Lyons Leave a reply »

My daughter loves to share. In fact, I have to teach her that it’s ok not to share at times. Eventually though, she’ll learn to share selectively, once some fifth-grade jerk steals her awesome idea for the science fair, or that jackass three cubes over throws her under the bus to take the blame for some farked up project.

Thus is the nature of humans.

We don’t really share at work

You’ve probably heard me say this before: We don’t really share, or more precisely, we don’t really collaborate. Instead, we assign tasks. “You go do this, and you over there, go do that. Upload your stuff in the Collaboration Thingy when you’re done.”

This is what real collaboration looks like: “I have an idea/problem/task. Here’s my rough draft of it – can you help me finish it?” Now, we only do real collaboration with – you guessed it – people we trust. I’ve diatribed about this before, but I’ve noticed something very interesting happening with my customers who have a non-collaborating culture.

Respect the trust

You want people to start using your social business environment (aka social networking/collaboration site), right? But, they don’t like sharing with “the world.” Yeah, that’s because of that jerk in the fifth grade. So, give them a place to dip their big toe, a spot to share with the people they trust today.

Give them an opportunity to replace all the email threads, IM chats, shared file drives, disconnected team spaces, and 6:00 am conference calls with Europe that they do today to co-create the stuff that the rest of you only see “when it’s done.”

When you give them a little corner of your social business piazza to privately share with the people they trust today, you’re introducing them to a single destination they can use across their entire Trust Spectrum.

The Trust Spectrum

Trust Spectrum
I’ve seen this happen with a large US healthcare company, and a global sports apparel company, to name a few. They use Jive Clearspace to give their people a way to share across the entire spectrum.

Cool, yes?



  1. I like this “progressive sharing” idea. It sounds like a gentle way to tease out collaboration between the unlikeliest of partners.

    A question though: do you have any stats on what percentages of “secret place” dwellers eventually morph to “public place” citizens?

    On a more technical note: it would be nice if Clearspace had a visual alert bar or marker to let one instantly know the privacy status of the page they’re on. That might make people more comfortable moving around Clearspace. As it stands it’s a bit like walking in the dark, you never really know what you can or cannot do until you try doing it. Worse for “secret place” folks, it’s hard to tell who exactly will be able to access the content they create.

  2. Gia Lyons says:

    I just had a conversation yesterday with a prospect about “lurker” conversion rates, which would be similar to the “secret” conversion rates you mention. I’ll bring this back to our analysis guru, thanks!

    Also, love the idea of a visual privacy indicator! Will take that back as well…

  3. Turtle says:

    I’ve told people for years, “the easier you make it for people to share information, the more you discover, they don’t WANT to.”


  4. michaeljpastor says:

    Gia, this sort of sharing spectrum can be covered under the Introvert/Extravert spectrum vocabulary in Jungian psychology.