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Week 4 submission: Credibility

November 5, 2012

Week 4 submission:

Question 1)

With the internet now becoming more prominent in modern society, it is opening up the opportunity to access information faster and more frequently than ever before. Therefore the credibility of a website is becoming more important.

As I am currently studying at ECU, the internet has to be the most useful yet dangerous tool in regards to research. We are often a little short sighted when it comes to obtaining information, so blind sided by our eagerness to complete assignments as quickly as possible, that we don’t think to check where our sources are coming from. It is becoming a common mistake made by my self and other students to use un-creditable websites, that leave our university tutors baffled when trying to figure out if we have made sources up or have merely been sucked in to the black hole, which is the Internet.

It is important to check your sources before proceeding to use a website’s information in any assignments. The Authors should be of a scholarly background. ECU’s online journal catalogue is a great source of information because students have the 100% confidence that each author is of a scholarly nature. The date in which the work was published is also another thing to bear in mind, as out dated information may well be inferior, as new information may be available and more credible.

Question 2)

Whilst Wikipedia is a great site to have access to, the fact that it can be edited by anyone means that ordinary people can put whatever nonsense they want on Wikipedia regardless of the background or knowledge in the matter. This means that Wikipedia is not a creditable source, but doesn’t mean it is of no use when doing research.  You can use it as a launch pad for your research, something that gives you a broad understanding of your topic, yet allows you to open up other opportunities to research.

Whilst not currently allowed to be used as a creditable source at most Universities around the world, the truth of the matter is that most of the information on the Wikipedia website is true, and most of it would be used by students if it was allowed. In fact, in most cases when you type in a search into Google, a Wikipedia source will have the highest search rating.

Unfortunately one of the most common words seen in a Wikipedia article is “citation needed”, which tells us that the information is either biased or unsupported, or sometimes even both. On other occasions when you view a Wikipedia article the information is so outlandish it is plainly false.

However recently there has been movements for the owners of the website to remove the freedom of speech tool and make Wikipedia into a creditable website. There is a mounting pressure on Wikipedia to implement strict control and editing measures. However, doing so would remove the opportunity for freedom of speech and user editing options, and the website may lose the current amount of followers as a result, meaning that Wikipedia is likely to stay as it is for quite some time.

Question 3)

The findings of Fogg’s studies conducted in 1999 and 2002 (see page 154 of this week’s reading) indicated that people’s perception of Web credibility has changed. For example, people’s perception on non‐profit organisation websites has changed since 1999. This is because, nowadays, setting up a nonprofit website is easy, and therefore the image of non‐profit websites has lost its value. In dot points, in your own words, list anticipated issues that may affect the users’ perceived Web credibility in future (200 words).

This question is grammatically incorrect and as a result I do not understand.

Question 4)

PRESUMED CREDIBILITY

Presumed credibility refers to the general assumptions we make about something’s credibility. For example, I believe that the Google website has credibility for the following reasons:

▪   – It is an international organisation used by millions every day.

▪   -Provides links to sometime millions of relevant articles and pages

▪   – It features an “about Google” section, meaning that it lists its contact information.

▪   Domain name contains ‘.com.au’

SURFACE CREDIBILITY

Surface credibility refers to what we find on inspection – how professional it appears. The espncricinfo.com website is one such example of surface credibility for the following reasons:

▪   Site looks professional

▪   Web design is definitely relevant to its content

▪   Appears to be trustworthy

▪    From an instantly recognisable source

▪   Articles are written by professionals

▪   Regularly updated (every 60 seconds with live scores).

REPUTED CREDIBILITY

If someone we know recommends something to us we are likely to believe that it is real and creditable. The Fox Sports News (FSN) website is an example of reputed credibility for the following reasons:

▪   I was referred to this site by a friend

▪   Many credible sites provide links to FSN

▪   Other people can be seen on the domain as “liking” the homepage. This means

that its been viewed by others as well as myself.

EARNED CREDIBILITY

Credibility can be earned if the user has had a previous experience with a site. Facebook.com is one example of earned credibility for the following reasons:

▪   I have used the website before

▪   I know how to use the website and understand its basic functions

▪   I know what to expect from the site.

I am familiar with this website!

Image

References:

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.

Meir, S. (n.d.). Is Wikipedia a credible source for undergraduate economics students?Retrieved from http://www.cba.uni.edu/economics/Themes/Meier.pdf

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