Sunday, May 08, 2005

Google ranks credibility

Here's a BTC piece on Google doing something akin to what I first suggested online back in January: scoring the credibility of information sources.

Starting with news organization and bloggers is one thing, but what you're really grading here, it seems, is popularity and clout. It's not what I want, but whatever. It's a start.

The real trick is grading EVERYBODY: Let's pin the Long Tail on congressmen, senators, cabinet secretary, party officals... and, yes, you bet: Presidents. You want to pin that tail on celebrities, pundits, documentary movie producers, TV anchors and citizen bloggers? Fine. Pin it everywhere, but pin it the same way on everyone.

We have short attention spans and lengthy to-do lists. It's too easy in today's media-saturated world take blatantly false claims at face-value (the irony is, it's never been easier to find the contradiction, but you have to want to look), and with little downside and plenty of benefit to spinning, many leaders and organizations hold integrity and truthtelling in low regard.

But what would happen if we could create an integrity/truthfulness grade that would follow each of us throughout our online and public lives? That might just change some basic equations.

Could it be abused? Duh. But that's a dodge, not a critique.