A slide from a community media presentation I give.

Have you ever been asked “…but how can we trust the content online? how do we know the identity of the person writing the review? how do we know the person is a recognised authority on the subject?

I’ve never fully understood this issue of societies ‘established authority’ figures, particularly when it comes to news on events. Maybe because I’ve always questioned traditional media. Made myself very unpopular after the first Gulf War asking people “you don’t really think we won that war, do you?”. I am reading Remote Control – new media new ethics at the moment.

Edited by Catharine Lumby and Elspeth Probyn contributors also include: Duncan Ivison, John Hartley, Maxine McKew, Ghassan Hage, Graeme Turner, Cherry Ripe, Anne Dunn, Jim Moser, Margo Kingston, Kate Crawford, Linda Jaivin, Kath Albury, Fiona Patten, Michael Moller, Milissa Dietz, John Safran

Yep Australian media, but a good counterpoint to The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture by Andrew Keen.

I do remember when I first saw eBay, asking myself “but how do I know who’s a genuine reseller, and who’s just a hobbyist?” Like it mattered. Eventually, the mob voted and we could see who had made hundreds or thousands of sales and who had a good ranking in the community. I now judge eBay sellers by the amount of respect and trust the community puts in them, not what testimonials a company puts out there through their public relations department.

So I guess my response is: if other people have a blogger on their blogroll, quote that blogger, and respond to that bloggers topics, good chance you have a lead blogger in your market sector. But I do think half the fun is discovering ‘new’ voices. Otherwise the bloggerati become more of an authority support system for each other and less innovative. I watch the feeding frenzy to get a press release picked up by a known blogger in the States and it’s well, … scary.

What questions will Web 4.0 pose, I wonder?