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How important is the Internet to you?

I am asking about informative issues here. Where do you get your information from?

A recent survey revealed the fact that almost 73% of experienced Internet users find the Web very or extremely important as an information source. Compared with all other figures (67% named books as extremely important, 57% called for newspapers while TV ranks 4th at 42%) it turns out that the web is going to be more and more the top media.

I have to say that these figures are conforming with my personal experience. I even dare to say that almost 90% of the things I learn or research are taken from the web, while about 10% go to books. Frankly, I have to admit that the information I am talking about mostly relate to webstandards and web-design. So obviously, there aren't much other sources than the web and books.

But I even read political, financial or sports news rather online than having the TV turned on or buying myself a newspaper.

Which leads us to another interesting question:

Do you trust information you find on the web?

As herein before mentioned survey found out, only half of the people believe what they read online. Which is, in fact, amazing. I mean, where else do you have the opportunity finding multiple resources about various issues?

I cannot double-check things that are told to me by the news anchorman or that are written in a newspaper (unless of course I go online and do a research). You can be sure that almost everything that is broadcasted or written down is conformed to either a station's policy or an editor's subjective opinion, or it is influenced by some kind of lobby.

But then, on the other hand, this might be the explanation as well. The ability of double-checking and comparison is suitable for exposing badly researched and sleazy gathered information immediately. Maybe a lot of internet users found out about it or experienced this kind of maggot ridden information, thus having legitimate doubts about the trustworthyness of the web.

So if you are the person to produce information, make sure you have looked well into the subject. Maybe it will help to increase the overall willingness to trust online resources more.

I'd like to leave you here with a wink and the recommendation of not making use of the Rule of Acquisition #152

A lie is a way to tell the truth to someone who doesn't know.

Be sure, Google will unmask you!

Posted by Minz Meyer at May 17, 2004, 02:44 PM | To Top

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I would so like to see a bunch more concrete work done on "trust factors"... meaning... I would so like to know what allows the people who trust to so do; what makes the people who don't trust skeptical; what is missing that would have made someone trust or less mistrustful? Completeness? Language? References? Some sign of "authority"? I know that (unfortunately) something as potentially irrelevant as the presentation of the information on the web affects my feelings about the "trustability" of the content -- i.e. if something serious is not presented with a serious font, I will trust less. So... although there has been some work done on this by some usability companies (like ), there still isn't enough out there in my opinion.

Posted by: Ines at May 18, 2004 12:23 PM | Let Cool (this ingredient)