Are Bloggers More Credible Than Random Strangers?

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?

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