We Are The New Infomediary

by Jay Deragon on 03/29/2012

You are an infomediary whether you know it or not. Your friends and acquaintances now get their trusted information from you.  Do you take your responsibility seriously?
Chuck Peters writes:  Many people are trying to drive through the cacophony, and figure out a way to create a new model, whereby any individual can develop a relationship with a network of information, to get what they want, when they want it, and be shown what might interest them, with a high likelihood of success.  We are all reliant on our self selected infomediaries and yet how well are we selecting them?
Tom Ratkovich outlined the role of the trusted “infomediary” over 6 years ago:
There are three essential qualities of the infomediary:
  1. Trust. As stated by Hagel and Singer, “Trust is the infomediary’s lifeblood.” Without trust, consumers will not share their personal information. Any doubt concerning the integrity and credibility of the infomediary will entirely undermine its ability to serve it that capacity.
  2. Existing relationships with consumers and merchants. While today’s newspaper is the logical entity to evolve into tomorrow’s infomediary, it is not the given entity. The Internet opens the door to numerous other institutions to usurp that role. The window of opportunity is not a large one, and those posturing to serve as the dominant infomediary will be disadvantaged if they must build these relationships from scratch.
  3. Channel integration. The ability to integrate the distribution of marketing communications across multiple channels is vital for two reasons. First, it allows for communication utilizing the preferred medium of the consumer. Second, it contributes to the optimization of merchant ROI by minimizing redundancy. (This is the primary impediment to companies like Amazon.com and Yahoo! in assuming the infomediary role.)
In order to engage and strengthen our communities, we need to engage and inform each individual.  The local media company, cannot know what each individual is truly interested in.  The individual does not want to tell the whole world exactly what their interests are but the individual can tell like minded individuals whom they have some level of trust what are their interest.
Choose the information and people you trust carefully because you are an infomediary sharing with other infomediaries.

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