Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Evaluating Blog Credibility


e.b.c. digital art copyright 2005 by steven streight Posted by Hello


There are millions of blogs. Blogs of more types than you could imagine.

Some experts estimate there are from 8 to 12 or even as high as 20 million blogs.

This includes both English and non-English blogs, and those that are not tracked by Technorati, Blogstreet, Daypop, Blogdex, and other major blogosphere stats services.

So...how can one determine if a blog is worthy of attention, respect, and trust?

Here are a few simple guideline for

Evaluating Blog Credibility:


Check to see if the blog has...

(1.) Upfront name of author and organization.

(2.) Upfront Contact information (email address, phone number, physical address, etc.)

(3.) Bio, Credentials, About Us (or About Me), Profile information.

(4.) Blogroll of already-known-to-be-credible blogs...and not just "clinking" (i.e., linking in a cliquey or cultish manner, linking only to friends, only to blogs on same host, only to blogs with same political beliefs, etc.)

(5.) Hypertext links leading to reputable sources of information.

(6.) Professional appearance, good use of visual elements, non-amateurish design.

(7.) No overwhelming clutter of ads, no hardcore sales hype, no cheesy gimmicks designed to attract your attention.

(8.) No ax to grind that makes the blog author seem unreasonably bitter, condemning, fanatic, super-hostile, paranoid, crude, racist, sexist, misanthropic, or vulgar.

(9.) Reasonable, rational language--with explanations, definitions, clarifications, links to substantiating information, as needed or appropriate.

(10.) Free from comment spam. The blogger monitors and deletes it quickly. It doesn't sit there in the blog for days or weeks at a time.

Comment spam = input posted as comments under a blog post:

...like dumb, vague "I like this blog. Read almost the entire article. First time here. Will return soon."

...followed by one, several, or many URLs (web address links) to dubious or malicious (e.g., spyware attaching) web sites promoting libido (sex) enhancement products, online gambling casions, pharmaceuticals, loan companies, health aids, herbal supplements, internet domain names, perverted sexual content, downloads, software, etc.

(11.) Free from sleazy sponsored links, like the comment spam URLs mentioned above, only these dubious or malicious links are actually paid text link ads displayed on the blog by the author. Vile.

(12.) Free from excessive typos, wrong spellings, bad grammar.

(13.) References to reputable sources in the text itself. (Careful, this can be faked, I mean the reputable references may be plugged in just to gain your trust.)

(14.) Good remarks by reputable persons, when you "google" or do a search engine search on the blog title or blogger (blog author) name.

(15.) Relatively reserved tone of voice, dignified, not rampantly ecstatic, not excessively zealous, not fanatically frenzied...but then again you don't want an urgent message to be too sedate and casual!

(16.) Tolerance of opposing points of view, not deleting comments that disagree with author, displaying hostile and flaming comments, with good responses to them.

(17.) Blog author responds in timely manner to emails and posted comments from readers, and responds--at least once in a while--within the comment threads, and not just in a summarizing post.


That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure I forgot some important items.

Will you post a comment here, or email me, to tell me what I forgot...

...or to debate what I've said?


Your feedback is most welcome here.

Thanks.


[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate aka Leper Guru of Bloatosphere

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