Mashable had a great post over the weekend, listing the factors that make a tweet credible, according to researchers from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University. The data seems to confirm what we discussed last week pertaining to networking and reciprocation, regarding the idea that there is a trend away from "following" or subscribing to a bunch of people online just to grow a network. According to this study, this practice can actually be a detriment to perceived credibility, at least according to this study.
So what does work?
According to this same study, it appears some of the old-fashioned methods of gaining credibility may be seen as more valuable, especially in their fancy new "new media" clothes.
At the top of the list of items which increase one's perceived credibility online are peer review and demonstrating that you are a subject matter expert in your field, along with backing your data with credible references. These concepts have always been important in the fields of academia, literature, science, and journalism - whether in print or online. Increasingly, they are finding their place into new media, and (at least indirectly) into the search engines, which are an important lifeline for young researchers.
Which brings us back to your website, your blog, and your social networks? How can you increase your online credibility?
1) Network with other industry experts. Link to their quality content when it makes sense to do so.
2) Establish yourself as an expert in your industry by being the go-to place in your market niche.
3) Make sure the sources you link to are high-quality credible ones.
4) Be current in your delivery, but make sure your grammar is correct and your graphics are professional
What are the ways the people you follow online convinced you that they are credible?