The sum of the reputation , influence , bridging capital and bonding capital, access to ideas and talent, access to resources, potential access to further resources, saved up favors , accomplishments (resumes, awards, articles, etc.) and the Whuffie of those who you have relationships with.
“ So, you can gain Whuffie through being nice, networked or notable.”
If you really have a killer product and a killer service I don’t care how you get ahold of me. Call me day or night at +1-425-205-1921. Email me at email@example.com. Or camp out on my front lawn. It doesn’t matter. If you are as good as SmugMug, I’ll make time for you. If you are a me too product, though, that doesn’t solve a real problem or doesn’t thrill its customers, I’ll see through that and I’ll be less likely to call.
Some exceptions? I hate Facebook and Twitter direct messages. I can’t answer those, so don’t even try.