Credibility is apparent in our day-to-day lives as we surf and navigate the web. Credibility and the web is subjective, and we as users must determine how reliable and truthful the information given, is. Credibility can be defined as ‘believability’. (Fogg, 2003, pp.122) and the truth lies in the eye of the beholder. So if we believe a website to be credible, we would place all faith in believing all the information we receive from it. Fogg describes credibility in his article Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do, as “credibility isn’t completely arbitrary. Much like agreement in evaluating beauty, people often agree when evaluating a source’s credibility.” With the Internet being students main source of information, and acting as a world-wide forum for people to contribute to the content of certain sites, credibility on the web is very important. Much of this credibility lies with the organisation behind the website (Fogg, 2003). We can determine whether a website is credible by seeing how competent and useful the information is, and by not trying to hoax you. If research requires students to use the web, it is extremely important to use sites which are not misleading. A conducted research by Stanford University (2004) shows, it is important to in a website to build web credibility with third-party support (references and source material), being confident and legitimate, showing credentials and affiliations, contact information being clear and being visually stimulating and simple. As students, knowing how to evaluate online sources is crucial to gathering the most relevant information for your research. As educational technology specialist Kelly Walsh says,” there is an overwhelming array of content” which can be risky when writing essays.
Credibility-online-sources-important-education.(n.d). Retrieved from https://everydaylife.globalpost.com.
Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp.122-125). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
The Web Credibility Project: Guidelines – Stanford University. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://credibility.stanford.edu/guidelines/
Question 2 – Wikipedia
As University students, the focus of our research should be on finding accurate information and formulating validated discussions and arguments. We must retain caution when reading and believing everything we read on the web, especially when it comes down to credibility. Wikipedia fails short here because when compared to other credible sources and verifying important information, Wikipedia can be misleading. The reasons being that anyone in the world with internet connection can access the Wikipedia site and edit content thus meaning Wikipedia should be assessed with caution, as information comes from many different sources. Being taught to look critically at the reliability and credibility of information’s important to the education process, and it is easy to fall into Wikipedia’s allure of immediate, accessible material to help one wrap their minds around a new research subject. Though having to be savvy and research the credibility of information, so as to also display an obvious effort in research skills to obtain necessary information.
Question 3 –
Fogg’s (2003) research between 1999 and 2002, discovered that the internet users’ expectations of what was offered on websites, climbed as did their ability to traverse the Web and become more discerning at recognising a reliable website from a non-credible one. Therefore expectations of higher standards are becoming more apparent with users currently and further into the future, though making us more vulnerable to the vast-ness of the Web.
Anticipated Issues in the Future of Web Credibility for Users’:
- With plagiarism becoming a large issue, sites that list author’s credentials for each article published will be considered more credible, and evidence being referenced.
- So much online marketing with advertisements and sales pitches, it makes it difficult for users’ to distinguish between ads and content.
- Websites that are not updated regularly may be perceived as stagnant and less authentic.
- Large elements of easability and trust are given to online shopping and bill-paying making one more prone to scam.
- As many of us, especially the new generation, are accustomed to researching online instead of print media, there may be problems discerning credibility online between legitimate sites and the vast number of competing illegitimate ones.
- The promotion of misleading content and publication of inferior information.
- Missing images and bad punctuation and grammar, and not representing a website properly can be misleading.
- When websites don’t provide a prompt response to an email, they could be considered un-genuine
Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 147-181). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
Item 2 – Activity
Four examples of credibility: presumed, reputed, surface and earned.
This is an example of a presumed website. Save The Children is a brand we all know as being reputable and assume it as being a legitimate organisation based on its good will and generosity.
This is an example of a reputed website. This refers to a website which has been credited and promoted by a recognized third-party. Google would have to be one of the most widely used search engines in the world, and has many endorsements in the movie, Television and radio fields.
This is an example of a surface website. A simple, non-confusing website which has attractive design and has been considered professionally with style and graphics, leading us to assume the website has been designed by experts, playing a huge role in the credibility of the site.
The final example is a website with earned credibility. This credibility is based on the personal experience a user has with a particular site. A website that delivers accurate information, earns the users trust as a credible website. Such as the ABC news website being informed and current, updated on a regular basis.