I have been looking at bit at the work of Georg Simmel, a German sociologist I read in my student days. Georg saw the development of trust as a mental process that has three components: expectation, interpretation, suspension.
Expectation is the anticipated state or outcome at the end of a process. It is preceded by the combination of interpretation and suspension. Interpretation concerns our experience of reality that provides ‘good reason. Suspension is the mechanism of bracketing the unknowable, thus making interpretative knowledge momentarily certain. Suspension enables the leap of faith required for trust.
Collaboration requires a bit of trust, as does participation in the blogosphere. We have an expectation of benefit from our efforts. This expectation takes many forms and it is best that the expectations of the participants align, but it is not necessary, or even desirable that they are identical, just complimentary. Then we interpret our communication through the lens of our expectations. The first two components are necessary, but not sufficient. Suspension enables us to bridge the gaps and, through it, achieve trust. But that suspension is based on our prior experience and enabled by our own perspective on life.
I tend to err on the side of trust. That is my going in position, unless I see a warning sign from my past experience. For collaboration and communities to exist we need to set the right conditions so that expectation and interpretation can enable suspension.