Week 5: What makes social networking sites trustworthy?

on September 28, 2012


I decided to use Popular Science Magazine. This magazine has apps, rss feeds and social media sites that allow users to connect to their magazine. I came across a Twitter and a Facebook page for the Popular Science Magazine so I decided to see who was checking them out. I found the five accounts by looking at each Tweet and seeing who retweeted it. Some regular folks retweeted this along with some professional Twitter accounts. I decided to look into a variety of people that retweeted this.

             I decided that there are many ideas that make those accounts trustworthy. Some examples were the number of followers they had, the number of tweets they made and the number of people they follow. I wanted to chose accounts that had a variety of followers and tweets. In addition, I also was able to see if their Twitter page was linked back to a website. I believe a Twitter page that is linked back to a website is also a sign of trustworthiness. The website validates that these people are legitimate. In addition, the number of retweets from other professional sites this account makes gave reason to believe that they are trustworthy. I would rather read those accounts that had professional tweets rather than those accounts that tweeted about their day. To me, when people just tweet about their day, it gives me an untrustworthy appeal to their page. If they are constantly putting up news articles, finding resources and sharing them out makes them trustworthy in my opinion. I also leaned towards the educational accounts when choosing who else to follow. I liked to hear other teachers discuss the Popular Magazine. I clicked on the educational accounts to hopefully get tips on how others use the magazine. Unfortunately, I did not come across tips for teachers on their Twitter pages. Rather, I saw the educational accounts retweet those Tweets of Popular Science. I did not decide to follow any of the accounts I clicked on. I personally, like to follow people I know rather than connect with strangers. It’s just a personal preference and I know my networking will not get any larger. However, I rarely am on Twitter so to follow random other accounts would not benefit me. If I were more active on Twitter I would consider following those others and establishing connections with them. However, at this time, I do not wish to follow random Twitter accounts. The following accounts were the Twitter accounts that were associated with the Popular Science Magazine.

1. @Flutterings_org Flutterings is a not-for-profit collaboration of education reformers. Tweets from Steve, a Flutterings director and 7th grade science teacher. Gilbert, Arizona · http://flutterings.org  Some trustworthy factors that I found about Flutterings were: retweets from educational magazines, rarely has personal tweets related to personal business. 446 followers, 257 tweets and 870 following,

2.   FHSBiology ‏ @FHSBiology1 The Biology Department of Farlingaye High School. Follow us for Biology related re-tweets, department news revision tips and competitions! Some of the trustworthy aspects of this account: Retweets from Society of Biology, New Scientist and other professional organizations. The high school is trustworthy in my opinion just because it is a school. 48 Tweets  23 Following  8 Followers

3. Thayer Helu @LordThayer  Acting lord and regional wizard of Trussville. Birmingham, AL · http://lordthayer.tumblr.com, This account seemed untrustworthy for the following reasons: personal posts, inappropriate ones at some points, and no website to describe them further. This account actually described themselves as a wizard? Just the easy going and juvenile approach did not give a trustworthy vote in my opinion. 3,262 Tweets  252 Following  256 Followers


4. Audrey Struwe @astruwe  Fabric and home accessories store owner. I have three Etsy shops, AudreysStash.etsy.com and AudreysHandMade.etsy.com and AudreysFabricAndTrim.etsy.com   This account seemed to be trustworthy because of the number of tweets, and followers they have. This account is from a small business owner in Texas. The points that made this trustworthy was the fact that they retweeted other educational websites or resources for the public In addition, this account linked the public back to a personal website.. 23,133 Tweets  1,471 Following  1,441 Followers  http://www.audreysfabric.com

5. The American Scholar  @TheAmScho A quarterly journal of literature, science and culture published for a general readership since 1932.Washington, DC · http://www.theamericanscholar.org  Some aspects of trustworthiness on this site: the Atlantic and the Uncreative Writer organizations follow this site along with other professionals. Also, they have posted many resources for the public along with their website. 1,570 Tweets 385 Following  2,825 Followers

            In research I conducted on “What makes Twitter accounts trustworthy?” I found certain ideas that I personally thought made a site trustworthy but the article says differently. For example, ” These were the lowest five credibility lowering factors for tweets…
1. Weak grammar and/or punctuation 2.71
2. Profile picture equals Twitter’s default user image – 2.87
3. User image is a cartoon/avatar – 3.22
4. Author follows many users – 3.30
5. Author’s user image is a logo – 3.37 ” I never honestly thought of all of those lowering credibility to Tweets.  The above data was taken from; http://www.thestrategyweb.com/study-what-makes-twitter-users-trustworthy. Good thing I did research. In addition, this following picture grabbed my attention because 42% of the population did not trust or distrust any brand or company on Twitter. I just went and trusted all of the company’s and brands on Twitter. I will be re-evaluating how I see accounts on Twitter. The following image was taken from: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007863Image


4 responses to “Week 5: What makes social networking sites trustworthy?

  1. Mike Fern says:

    I like your thought that a trustworthy tweet keeps out personal information when the topic is professional. That indicates to me someone who can easily define professional vs. personal, and also likely means that the writer reviewed before posting to ensure the post was appropriate. I also agree that poor grammar or a goofy picture/avatar lessens the credibility of the post. Again, the writer is not taking it seriously.

  2. Interesting chart on who trusts the bloggers. Shows how we mistrust strangers more than friends, which is a good thing. Probably feeds into my uncertainty about the whole blogging arena….

  3. As I read your post, I was reflecting on my evaluation of the profiles I saw. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I also thought the photos and grammar of the person was important. You can’t take someone seriously if they are not communicating well or if they are using a strange cartoon as their photo.

  4. kotchjester says:

    Kaitlin, I’m not sure what is the best way to contact you, but I was wondering if you would look at my about me page and blog and give me feedback for the week 6 assignment.

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