Edelman has published an interesting study measuring consumers trust of various sources ranging from “People like myself” to “bloggers” that aims to explain the credibility people give to different relationships:
I wonder how different the results would be if – rather than bloggers – the poll asked whether they trust “Perfect Strangers?”
Then, switch the other questions to, “a person like myself” who blogs, etc.
For example, if I’m looking for a restaurant recommendation, I’ll often turn to “a person like myself” to decide what’s worth checking out. And I may find that recommendation on the blog of “a person like myself” who seems to enjoy similar restaurants around Minneapolis.
If I’m interested in digging deeper into an issue, I may find the perspectives of a professor who studies the issue for a living valuable, even if the professor publishes her professional research on a blog platform.
Personally, I put much more weight on a person’s credibility than their choice of publishing platform.
I get the impression that Edelman is asking the wrong question here.
A better question could be built around, “How do you determine whether someone is credible online?”
How does someone go from being a random stranger with a blog (known as “a blogger” in Edelman’s current study) to someone who’s credible and trustworthy on a subject that interests you?