I spent a lot of time between last night and now thinking about trust and how we trust certain authors, bloggers, writers and online personalities. It’s easy to build a blog, it’s not easy to build trust. When someone you trust to present accurate information edits information to serve her puproses or otherwise does something to betray that trust, it’s like a knife in the back to that blog’s community.
As bloggers we can write anything we want, really. Sure now we have to throw in some disclaimers, but the sky is the limit. We can trash people on our blogs. We can offer glowing reviews of products we’re paid to talk about. We can be “experts” and “gurus” and say anything even if it’s rather…embellished. The good bloggers, the ones who truly get it, talk from the heart but also present an accurate assessment. Not an edited assessment but an accurate assessment. How do blog readers know this is happening? How do you know teachings and online reports are accurate?
What if an online personality who I trust to be fair and balanced writes an extremely unbalanced piece – because balance wouldn’t suit his purpose? Will that mean I have been following bad advice all along? Do I trust this person as an authority now that I know he leaves out key details and facts? What about all his other reports and bits of news, how can I trust that information? You see, when I find interesting research from another blogger, I like to share it here with you. Now I wonder, what if I’m sharing bad information? Now this other blogger who caused me not to trust him, also may cause my readers not to trust me because I recommend him so often.When trust breaks it’s like a domino effect.
I hope I’m making sense. I’m jet lagged and exhausted and have lots of stuff running through my mind. I think about trust a lot. I work hard at not betraying this community’s trust.
Do you feel you, as blog readers, put too much trust into your favorite bloggers? For example, if I was to endorse a service or knock a certain group, would you take everything I said as the Gospel, or would you do your own research and make your own decisions? While I always do my best to present all sides of a story, how do you, the reader, know it’s true? Trust is an important responsibility. What happens if you learn a favorite writer or blogger abuses your trust – do you take it personally?