Given the exponential growth of blogs and their potential impact on consumer decision making, it is important to understand how individuals evaluate blogs as a credible information source. Media information sources (e.g., newspaper, television) are generally judged for credibility on the basis of accuracy, fairness, objectivity, or lack of bias. Early research indicates that blogs are considered more credible than traditional media or their online counterparts by blog users. These results do not explain why or how the blog is perceived to be credible. Blogs are not found to be fair, objective, or without bias. Users expect that the blog will demonstrate bias � the personal view of the blogger. Therefore, there must be others factors that are the determinants of blog credibility. Newhagen and Nass (1989) stress that information seekers utilized different evaluation criteria depending on the type of media being assessed.
This study focuses on the blog structure � as a media website, as content/information, and as a source � in an attempt to isolate the cues that individuals use when determining the credibility of a particular wine blog (Phase 1), trust in the wine blog, and engage in wine-related trust behaviors (testing model, Phase 2).