Week 5 Journal

1 Aug

How do you judge the value of expertise on the Web?

How I judge the value of expertise completely depends on whether I’m seeking the information for academic use or for personal use, but there are a few basic necessities for either case:

  • The website must look professional.
  • The website must be well organized.
  • The website must have a logical site map.
  • The website must be virtually free of grammatical errors.
  • Pictures are also usually appealing to me. It’s not a necessity, but I enjoy a nice photo or graphic amidst a few long pages of plain text.

If its for academic use, then the value of expertise is based on the person’s level of education and amount of experience with the subject. For instance, I’ll probably pay more attention to a webpage produced by Dr. Jane Doe than by Mrs. Jane Doe, especially if they are affiliated with a reputable university. Experts should identify themselves as such, and at the very least identify themselves as the authors of the websites.

If it’s for personal use, then the value of expertise is based on how they present themselves and how other followers feel towards them. Do they seem to care about the knowledge they’re sharing? Do they respond to comments and answer questions? Do they receive positive feedback from followers?

Does it differ from your notion of expertise in face-to-face settings? – Yes

In face-to-face settings, I value the expertise of educated, experienced people who are respected by others and who professionally and logically present themselves and their information. In a formal setting, experts should be professionally dressed and speak eloquently. If they have presentation materials, they should be ascetically pleasing, logically organized, and free of grammatical errors.

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