Authority in the Age of the Amateur

A thoughtful piece at Infotangle discusses authority of Weblogs. Ellyssa Kroski ponders, for example, how we might judge the usefulness and authority of a Weblog:

Identity of the Author – Seek out the identity and credentials of the author. Be wary of anonymous bloggers.

Accuracy – Is the information presented accurate?

Currency – Is the blog up-to-date or outdated?

Endorsements – Use sites such as Technorati and Google Blog Search to see what people are saying about a particular blog or article. Technorati recently added an “authority” slider to their search feature which allows users to narrow their results based on level of authority. They base their authority measures on how many sites link back to a particular blog.

Blogrolls – Note if “authoritative” blogs are endorsing it in their blogroll to gage its popularity.
Permalinks – Discover how many blogs link back to it using permalinks to judge its sphere of influence.

Print Citations – Notice if the mainstream media has referenced the blog in print.

Cited Sources– Have they cited, or linked to the original source of the news?

Recommendations – Is this a source recommended by your circle of trust?

Content Analysis – Investigate the body of work on a blog, not just the posting you’re interested in.