After reading this thoughtful post by “Broke Grad” entitled Why I Blog Anonymously, he left me to ponder a statement that he’d made about credibility as it pertains to blogging. He states,
The truth is that credibility lies in the hands of the readers, not the writers.
I found this statement to be wrong on so many levels.
Credibility Lies With Both The Author And The Reader
First things first, I believe that credibility lies in the hands of both, but is placed more-so in the hands of the writer than the reader. Why? No one trusts an author that isn’t credible. True, the name won’t make an initial difference, but in the long haul, it’ll make a huge difference.
Brand Name Writers
You have to think of your name as your brand. If no one trusts your content in the beginning, you can bet your bottom dollar that no one will trust it in the long run based on your name alone. Tarnished credibility could keep new subscribers and readers away from your content. Word of mouth can be a beautiful nightmare. Yes, changing your name could change all of that, but eventually people will figure out who’s writing what content. Changing a name doesn’t change you and persona that comes through in your content.
Besides, readers wouldn’t take the time to read your stuff if they didn’t think it were somewhat credible to begin with. Everyone doesn’t believe everything that they read on the web and not necessarily because of the name of the writer. However, some content just looks false or seems…odd. This is when it becomes the reader’s job to deduce whether or not the information that the writer is publishing is actually true, ergo credible.
Writer First, Then Reader
It’s a tit for tat sort of situation if you ask me. However, it’s definitely up to the writer first and foremost to make sure the information that they are publishing is credible. When they fail, it’s up to the reader to either correct it or simply place it in their “fake box”. What are your thoughts on the question?