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Reviewed Credibility Signals

Last month, we decided to try writing a spec for some credibility signals. What observations can be made (perhaps by machine) which are likely to indicate whether you can trust something online? In the past, we’ve listed well over a hundred, but that turned out to be not very useful. With so many signals, we weren’t able to say much about each one, and it wasn’t clear to readers where to focus their attention. (See for some drafts.)

This time, we decided to focus on a small handful, so we could say something useful about each one and only include ones we actually expect to be useful. Personally, I was able to think of about 15 where I have some real confidence.

Today, based on discussion at five of our weekly meetings, we’ve released a draft with five signals, three of which are variations on a theme. This is intended as a starting point, and we’re very interested in feedback. What signals do you think are most promising? Are you involved in building products or services that could produce or use this kind of information? Is the format and style of this document useful? The draft includes some ways to contact us, but perhaps the best way is to join the group and introduce yourself.

Please take a look: Reviewed Credibility Signals.

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