I find interesting to summarize credibility basics in this Electrical Engineering Blog because i feel this seems to apply well to this Blog and also it may help all visitors, contributors and also the moderator team, to have a better understanding.
I produced this information from a source given in Problogger site.
7 blog quality principles are interesting to cover: Longevity, Experience, Expertise, Blog design, Writing skills, Readership volume and readers participation & Consistency. Finally it’s nice to see that this is common sense …
Blogs appear everyday. They also disappear just as often. When someone creates a new blog, he should ask himself first if this blog is really committed to the long haul. Ask yourself: “Am I going to feed and update my blog regularly in the coming five years?”
Obviously, a blog cannot acquire longevity immediately. Nevertheless it is a weighting factor to the credibility of a blog. In search engines, such as Google, the longevity of a blog helps it rank higher in the search requests, making it a more credible source of information.
However, let us not forget that new and fresh blogs are also very important to the information flow in our society. Although they do not have as much longevity as older blogs, they can gain credibility by other factors such as new sources of information or new point of view on existing subjects.
A blogger with lots of experience is not necessarily an expert on the subject presented in the blog. He can be a “normal guy” who has tested or encountered the same type of situation several times. If you have done a task several times, such as building a panel board, and are able to share the pros and cons in different types of situations, you can be considered a blogger having experience. It is further useful if you can compare the current experience with past ones, without overdoing it of course. Readers do not necessarily search for an expert’s opinion every time. Sometimes they want to simply have someone else’s point of view on a specific matter. If this person resembles the readers, they will value his opinion. This can be considered one of the biggest added values of blogs.
The expertise of a blogger helps to build his credibility. We have a natural tendency to pay more attention to people having a specific expertise. A good example is a tourist guide. When we are visiting a new city abroad, we tend to have limited knowledge and are eager to listen to every word of the tourist guide being the expert. A blogger can build on this value, by giving his credentials. His credentials can include diploma, company and position, as well as the number of years on the job.
Aesthetics and the structure of the webpage can be important contributors to the credibility of the blog. Or said otherwise, the lack of these two can destroy its credibility. The neatness of a blog is important to make a good first impression. As we say, you do not have two chances to make a good first impression. A blog that is not neatly presented can drive away first-comers, who may discard the messy web page as an unreliable source of information. Think for example of a candidate for a first job. One he is dressed neatly will make a better impression to the potential employer than a second candidate wearing slack pants and un-ironed shirt.
Other important aspects include the layout of the pages and search capabilities. Ask yourself: “Is the information I need easy to find?” Reliable blogs guide their users easily to the relevant information. Page design considerations can also include the first glance factor: “Can a first-time visitor tell within 15 seconds the purpose and the theme of the blog?”
This is fairly simple to explain, a credible blog should present good grammar and general mastering of the language. Misspelling and other language mistakes, or plain bad phrase building, reduce the credibility of a blog.
The exceptions to this rule are the blogs in an international context. For example, the blogger from Ukraine wishes to write in English to obtain increased readership and participation. In another scenario, the blogger wishes to have contribution from international visitors: the main purpose is to share information from users in several countries.
Readership volume and readers participation
There are web page statistics tools to measure the traffic on different sites. However a simpler and more significant barometer may simply be a visit to the blog itself, to see if it displays an active life. Indicators can include the number of articles and contributors, and of course, comments. A credible blog attracts comments, as people feel involved in the process. Further in this line of thought, the credible blogger replies to the comments in a timely fashion. This virtual process contributes to the credibility of the blog.
A credible blog should be consistent. Consistency is proven by the absence of article contradictions and waving of the author’s position to follow popular opinions. For example, an article should not carry information that is in contradiction to an article posted a few months earlier.
A credible blogger will stick to his convictions and present them in firm but open manner. He may have a different opinion from some readers, but the blogger acknowledges the diversity of opinions in the blog environment. A blog that is not credible attempts to either smoother or minimize diverging opinions.
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