Trust Inducing Factors of Generation Y Blog-Users
Cara Colucci, Erin Cho
Blogs have become an increasingly popular form of online information and opinion exchanges, particularly amongst Generation Y. This study examines factors important to Generation Y in determining their trust judgment toward blogs. Study data include twenty-eight in-person interviews and 344 survey responses from Generation Y who read blogs for lifestyle tips and information. Results indicate that trust toward blogs by a blog reader is built on judgments along three dimensions: content, design and the perception of a blogger. Within each dimension, judgments are based on the evaluation of several specific criteria: Content-related criteria include authenticity, curation, and the frequency of posts; design-related criteria include aesthetics, organization, and image qualities; criteria related to the reader’s perception of a blogger include perceived expertise/reputation and motives of the blogger. This study also finds that trust directly affects a blog reader’s willingness to return to the blog and to recommend it to others. Specifically, speed of navigation and a perceived similarity between the blog writer and the blog reader have direct effects on a blog reader’s willingness to return, while information curation, aesthetics, and reputation have direct influence on the blog readers’s willingness to recommend the blog to others.
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