A note on clichés and online credibility

I read a post from “Technology Evangelist” (who in turn replied to Micro Persuasion, who in turn quotes Edelman Trust Barometer :) on how much people trust various sources of information ranging from “a person like yourself” through academics, employees, executives of companies, etc., to “blogger”. The result, unsurprisingly i think, is that people trust “a person like yourself” the most and “blogger” the least (i am pasting the graph below).

Ed Kohler offers a few points of criticism about the way the categories are labeled in this question and i tend to agree. Moreover, it got me thinking how often we tend to place issues in well defined conceptual bins. “Blogger” in this case is some esoteric creature on the internet, which is probably far from being truth for many of the regular blog readers. I wonder how does this trust question correlate with blog-reading patterns or more generally with media consumption patterns.

Regardless, I think one interesting thing in this graph is how the general trends of trust fluctuate in time. Note that while the absolute values vary among the different categories, the general trend is the same. Interesting.

Edelman Trust Barometer 2008


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