Credibility is important because people are less likely to pay attention to a medium perceived as not being credible and bloggers are communicators whose potential to influence is derived from their credibility i.e., expertise on a subject or perception of being trustworthy, unbiased and independent. Due to the popularity of blogging sites such as Blogger.com with Irish internet users but the estimated low number of actual Irish bloggers, this research investigated if blogs based outside of Ireland are read more often and perceived as being more credible.
It was assumed that non-bloggers would rate blogs based outside of Ireland as more credible than Irish blogs. However, out of a maximum score of 20 the non-bloggers rated Irish blogs with a mean score of 13.02 and non-Irish blogs with 12.64. The mean rating of the credibility of Irish blogs was actually slightly higher, though not significantly so.
Previous research has suggested that the more an individual relies on a source, the higher credibility they attribute to it, and the bloggers did rate the overall credibility of blogs higher than the non-bloggers. However, neither the bloggers nor the non-bloggers rated either Irish blogs or non-Irish blogs as significantly higher in credibility than the other. Incidentally, without a comparison to credibility scores of the traditional forms of Irish media this rating can only be used to compare the two categories investigated – Irish blogs and non-Irish blogs.
Additionally, approximately 50% of both groups said that they read a mixture of both Irish and non-Irish blogs, and approx. 35% said that they primarily read Irish blogs. Both the bloggers and non-bloggers indicated that they believed that blogging was more popular in other countries, and both groups thought that the medium was popular, but not “very popular” worldwide.