Trustworthiness of product review blogs : a source trustworthiness scale validation

19 Apr 2013

With the introduction of Web 2.0, online blogging has established its place in the lexicon of public relations management. Especially blogs that offer reviews of products, services and technologies, have become essential to practitioners of public relations in their dialogue with the market place. From a public relations perspective, this paper addresses the source trustworthiness of product review blogs among online consumers, and whether consumer demographics have a significant impact on their level of trust. This paper reports the adaptation of a scale to measure the construct of source trustworthiness in the context of blogs. The results of a survey among 169 Australian online consumers confirmed the validity of the scale in the blogging context. Findings suggest that while source trustworthiness does not appear to be strongly related to either gender or level of education, younger consumers exhibit higher levels of source trustworthiness. Managerial implications are drawn from these findings and avenues for future research are identified.