Online Credibility

Weblogs, blogs for short, are an oncoming fad in our society. The ability for anyone to post their thoughts and have it published to a worldwide audience has never been possible until this day and age. Credibility is the number one issue that comes with this phenomenon. What can we trust online as truth and what is just a farce?

A high school student down the street from you or a distinguished college professor could each have their own blog. How does one decipher what is credible and what is not? That is the predicament we are in. What are the standards that we must use to determine their credibility.

Whenever I need to research a topic, whether it be for class, work, or my own enjoyment, I open up google.com and perform a search. Results appear on the web site and nine times out of ten it is exactly what I want. College English classes won’t let us use many online resources as resources even though their accuracy could be better than the New York Times. The difference between a blog and a credited newspaper is the publishing process. Journalists must have a college education and a high level of skill in order to even write for a credible publishing.

The process to create a blog is very easy. Simply go to a popular blogging site such as Blogger.com and sign up. Within five minutes you have your own domain, bradysblog.blogger.com. You are now an author, a publisher, a writer within minutes. The whole world is your audience. Compare that to the rigorous task of an author attempting to write for a major magazine such as Newsweek. Intense college education, years of experience, and very good talent are a requirement to be a part of such a publication.

Can blogs be recognized as a credible source? Anyone can write truth. Not only distinguished journalists but also the college student. Each of us are professionals in our own area and should be able to write about it. Web developers or Botanists. Fast food workers or custodians. High school students or mothers. Each us of has a right to publish the truth and have it recognized.

Truth eventually weeds itself into the popular eye. A simple google search will return the best results on a few keywords. This search is all based on popularity. Popularity online becomes truth. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that is open source, is a great case study to look at. Anyone can edit an article if they have more truth on the subject. Will this style of accumulated writing eventually circumscribe itself to near perfection?

Though anyone can post information online, a user can use standards to determine if the information is accurate. More often then not, the information will prove itself to be truth and worth your time. We need to determine what these standards are to develop online credibility.

Reference List:
MacKinnon, Rebecca (2005). “Blogging, Journalism, & Credibility. Battleground and Common Ground�. Source: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/webcred/wp-content/webcredfinalpdf_01.pdf
Jstor: Using weblogs in the classroom

Edward, Steven (2005, 26 Apr). “Evaluating Blog Credibility.� Source:http://blogcorevalues.blogspot.com/2005/04/evaluating-blog-credibility.html

Harvard Law School:
Site: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/webcred/
PDF: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/webcred/wp-content/webcredfinalpdf_01.pdf

Jstor: Using weblogs in the classroom

Online Credibility.
Weblogs
Forums
Expertexchange.com
Magazines online
Online newspapers