Monday, November 12, 2007

Every Blog Has Its Day: Politically-interested Internet Users' Perceptions of Blog Credibility (Journal Of Computer Mediated Communication)

The results of an interesting study were recently published in the online Journal of Computer Mediated Communication on how readers view the credibility of blogs. Here are some highlights:

"This study hypothesized that politically-interested Web users will judge blogs as credible sources of news and information. The results indicate that politically-interested Internet users find blogs to be moderately credible sources for news and information. Past analyses have detected similar findings for blogs (Banning & Trammell, 2006; Johnson & Kaye, 2004) and for the Internet as a whole (Johnson & Kaye, 2000, 2002). While Internet users are increasingly flocking to blogs as a source of political news and information, the moderate scores for credibility indicate that users also realize that blogs are not the final word..."

"As expected, respondents evaluated blogs as highly credible for depth of information, while judging them as weaker on credibility for fairness of information..."

"In fact, blog supporters perceive bias as a strength that allows for a more detailed and in depth examination of issues. Although this intensity of analysis is valued, it may also suggest that blog readers are attracted to sites that share their viewpoints and therefore have a potentially polarizing effect..."

"Heavy users viewed blogs as more credible overall than did light blog users. This perception extended to all four measures of credibility (believability, fairness, accuracy, depth of information)..."

"Politically-interested blog users judged blogs as considerably more credible overall than traditional media or other online sources. Interestingly, broadcast television fared the worst on measures of credibility..."

"As hypothesized, both reliance and motivations were predictors of blog credibility, after controlling for demographic and political variables. Reliance emerged as a stronger predictor of blog credibility than did motivations. It stands to reason that users would find their preferred media selection the most credible..."

"The current study took the examination one step further by asserting that the Informational (i.e., instrumental) motivations will be a stronger predictor of blog credibility than will entertainment motivations (i.e., habitual), after controlling for demographics and political variables. ... However, respondents who primarily engaged in blogging for entertainment purposes are less likely to judge blogs as highly credible..."

Link To Full Text

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