Friday, November 26, 2004

Clickability Poll: Newspaper Blogs More Credible - But Not By Much

I was forwarding an article to a friend via the site's Clickability service and had the option to take a poll after sending it. The question: " Do you think visitors find a blog on a newspaper site vs. a blog site to be more credible, less credible or no difference in credibility?" The answer: 41 percent of respondents found them to be more credible, 22 percent less credible, 36 percent found no difference in credibility. This kind of polling is of course less than scientific, but here's the kicker: the site from which I launched the poll was Editor & Publisher, a site oriented heavily towards the newspaper industry. There could be other sites feeding into this Clickability poll, but assuming that it's mostly E&P vistors feeding into it it indicates that less than half of people concerned about "credible" online journalism would agree that a newspaper lends additional credibility to a weblog. One can only wonder what the stats would be for the general news-reading public. While the Shore maxim "good content is where you find it" seems to hold true more than ever, credibility is a value attribute for content that will factor into the development of weblogs and other forms of independent journalism. The question is, though, is it really necessary to have an established news organization to provide that credibility? To some degree the algorithm-driven credibility found in Google News and other automated services has established a new regimen for determining editorial relevance and credibility, amplified by webloggers and other sources of editorial opinion. As rating and ranking mechanisms work their way into the world of weblogs it will be as if the world has become its own editorial board. Let's see what this poll looks like a year from now...
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