A book I ordered from Amazon.com on social media arrived this afternoon. I can’t put it down.

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

Brogan and Smith write:

“(Trust agents) are the power users of the new tools of the Web, educated more by way of their own experiences and experiments than from the core of their professional experiences.

“They speak online technology fluently. They learn by trying, so they are bold in their efforts to try new on applications and devices. They recommend more, and more often, on social bookmarking applications (Delicious.com and the like) than anyone else. They connect with more people than anyone else, and they know how to leave a good impression.

“As they do so, they build healthy, honest relationships. Trust agents use today’s Web tools to spread their influence faster, wider, and deeper than a typical company’s PR or marketing department might be capable of achieving, and with more genuine interest in people, too.”

I’d like to become more a trust agent on the Web as my staff and I reach out to non-credit students who are searching for quality continuing education experiences.

This blog is one example. Our Twitter page and ever-expanding Web site are others.

If you want to learn what the social media fuss is all about, I invite you to attend our first non-credit course on this hot topic.

“Social Networking” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on October 20 at the UT Conference Center in downtown Knoxville. The course fee is $109.

Darrin Devault, UT Professional & Personal Development

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