Credibility Commons has the slogan, “Exploring trust on the Internet.” According to their website:

The Credibility Commons is an experimental environment enabling individuals the opportunity to try out different approaches to improving access to credible information on the World Wide Web. Tools will be provided to researchers as well as the public, allowing them to try out search strategies, collections and other approaches to improving access. The Commons can be viewed as a collaborative space in which to share ideas, data sets, results and innovations.

The Credibility Commons is just getting started, but some of the resources currently available include:

This is an interesting project and certainly an important issue, but like “Internet Safety” I consider content validation to be a subset of both digital/information literacy skills as well as digital citizenship. It doesn’t look like the creators of this site have (yet) come up with anything extremely innovative– NetTrekker (although a commercial website and not free) is a much more comprehensive “validated” source of web content than the “Extracted Sites” resource at this point.

It also occurs to me that credibility in our web 2.0 age is not built only through centralized, technocratically-controlled authorities. For me personally, credibility for ideas is often established through personal blogs and the content other people publish there. It seems that in a traditional “analog” age, people looked to “experts” (like the publishers of textbooks for schools and traditional print materials like books and magazines) to determine if information should be believed or not. It is not surprising that digital immigrants would look at the issue of “content credibility” from a traditionally technocratic perspective. Rather than having a central authority and gatekeeper which doles out “credibility stamps of approval” I think we are looking and can increasingly look to emerging social networks to perform that function. Websites like del.icio.us show how many other people have saved/linked to a particular site, and this can be a measure of credibility probably along the same lines as the Google page rank system. To be really useful, a system like this needs to have large numbers of users. If the Credibility Commons project leaders have a way to partner with current school library organizations, like School Library Journal, perhaps they could find a way to encourage more librarians to contribute to the “Extracted Sites” effort and make it a more comprehensive, robust, and useful resource.

On the issue of Google page ranks and validation, I will note that my Tools for the TEKS site is still in the Google top 20 for a simple keyword search for “technology integration” (without using quotation marks.) I used to be in the top 10, not sure why that dropped.

To keep up to date on Credibility Commons updates, check out and subscribe to their blog RSS feed.

Via eSchoolNews.

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