Who will provide the credibility ratings for the journalists of the planet?

July 2nd, 2009 / 09:07 by Ross Dawson

Citizen journalist site Allvoices.com has just moved out of beta. CNet provides a story of the site, its founder Amra Tareen, and Allvoices’ features including a map of the world showing where the latest stories are emerging. A Reuters story, Allvoices happy to pay popular posters, focuses on how the site pays contributors and its ‘crediibility’ algorithm.

Contributors are free to post almost anything and their credibility is rated by readers and an in-house algorithm which measures postings against traditional media and other sources.

But throwing the site open to the public has its pitfalls.

One recent post with a high credibility rating said the Ark of The Covenant was about to be unveiled. Other stories cite no sources at all.

Mr Sundelof said he had not looked at the Ark posting, but the in-house computer evaluation depended on feedback from many users and there had not been enough feedback on that piece.

Allvoices did not practice gatekeeping.

“We haven’t worked out how to deal with these kinds of situations,” he said. “Basically, we can only determine credibility based on the input we have.”

In a world awash with information, having credibility or reputation ratings for information sources is becoming increasingly important. While most people have focused on the media channel as the brand, this is going to shift to the individual journalist. You may trust the New York Times, but after you’ve read it for a while, you’ll place more credibility on what some journalists for the paper write than you do for others.

Allvoices is one of the early players in this space. There will be many more.

How reputation measures will evolve, particularly those for content, will be one of the important themes at Future of Influence Summit 2009.