The answer to that question breaks along the same line as when people are asked if they trust congress. The answer is no, but they trust their own congressperson by electing them again and again.

The net’s been a buzz this week about a recent Forrester report posted by Jeremiah Owyang finding the public doesn’t trust bloggers as much as other sources when commenting on products or services.

The problem with the survey’s findings is the question asked, ‘Do you trust bloggers?’

What what if the question had been, as suggested by Joshua Porter, ‘Do you trust bloggers who you read regularly/subscribe to?’ Of you course you do. Why else would they read them?

Bill Ives cites two commenters to Jeremiah’s post to further make the point. From Jon Montjoy:

Contrary to what you may imply, you are trusted by many of your readers. You’ve earned this trust by being transparent, by being consistent, by slowly building a reputation, and by the multiple channels in which someone can learn about you.

And from Kate Carruthers:

I think that you are confusing two categories. Of course people don’t trust a generic category called ‘bloggers’ But they do trust people they ‘know’, and in these days of social networking ‘knowing’ someone may mean you have never met them in real life. But if a relationship of trust & authenticity has been developed between you & them, then they could trust a blogger.

Thousands of people read my blog. They must trust something I say. I’m not that entertaining.

People put their butts on the line at least once a month asking me to speak in front of large groups. Just received invites to speak at the Texas Bar Annual Conference and to keynote at a Wisconsin Bar Association Conference. I don’t know any of the people who invite me. They’re reading my blog. If they didn’t trust what I was writing, would I get an invite?

Law firms, from solo’s to the largest in the country, call me for advise on blogging. The same firms subscribe to LexBlog’s blog service. No other way those folks know me than my blogging.

Read the surveys, but don’t leave your common sense behind.

  • I trust you.

  • That’s scary. ;)

  • May Carnival of Trust — Addendum

    Since writing my May Carnival of Trust post (click here for the post), several others have commented on Web Strategy by Jeremiah’s post suggesting that people do not trust bloggers. Of course, the real point of the studies Owyang cites is that people …

  • Great point. Generalization of the theme by throwing all bloggers into the same basket doesn’t give the study any credibility (ironic?). What I do believe is that trust and credibility do play an important role, and all journalists (whether mainstream or bloggers) have earned that trust by building a track record. Whether its by writing artcles for a national newspaper or posting to a blog, that track record is sensitive and once this trust is breached, its hard to recover. A blog is just the distribution mechanism, nothing more, nothing less.