Trust and Credibility

Nancy A. Van House 教授的研究领域有两个:数位图书馆和网络信息环境的信任问题 (the practices of trust in networked environmental information.) 她同时在做关于“Weblogs as Knowledge Communities”的研究。她是这样定义问题的: The Internet gives people access to information from unfamiliar sources, from outside their own knowledge community, and in unfamiliar genres. Information is cut loose from the traditional practices and institutions by which it is warranted, and the context that helps users understand and evaluate it. This creates problems, not only for information users, but for producers, who fear having their work misunderstood or used inappropriately. ”

One of her current projects is studying trust and credibility in networked information to blogs. Mary Hodder who is a creator of the Biplog blog is working with her.

Dr. Van Hous’ concern is “not with the popular personal journal-type blogs, but with what are called topical blogs, which address one or a related group of topics.” For topical blogs, ” a typical entry might consist of a paragraph or so comment on a recent development, with links to other reports and commentaries, to related events, and other web pages that the author finds relevant. The result is a network of mutually-referencing blogs which function as an on-going online. Participants are generally a core group of mutually-referencing bloggers and larger group of more or less regular readers who don’t themselves blog. ”

Here is more of how she thinks on this issue: “This is an opportune time to study blogging and its implications for both understanding and performing knowledge work. Despite its high profile, to date surprisingly little serious research about blogging has been published. What exists is mostly about the process of blogging. My interest is not in blogging but in knowledge work, for which blogging is one tool.

Bloggers claim that blogging is typefied by democracy, meritocracy, and personal voice. These (no doubt idealized) goals raise questions about how participants judge quality and competence. Blogging gives us a place to watch how participants cope with the decontextualized world of the internet, and how they evolving practices of knowledge creation and determination of competence and credibility. I am not interested in blogging itself but with how blogging reveals and transforms how knowledge communities do knowledge work, especially in relation to issues of authority and credibility. ”