People Trust Stuff They Read Online More Than Nearly Any Other Medium

A global Nielsen survey reports the cool yet frightening revelation that people trust opinions they find on the internet more than those from newspapers, TV, radio and magazines. The only category that trumps online rumblings is “recommendations from people known.”

Adweek reports on the ability of wackjob shut-ins and reputable authorities alike to create your tastes for you online:

“The explosion in consumer-generated media over the last couple of years — we are now tracking over 100 million CGM sources — means consumers’ reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don’t, has increased significantly,” said Jonathan Carson, president of online, international at the Nielsen Co.

Logic dictates that when the top two sources are combined — opinions you read online from people you know — your brain is helpless at the power of suggestion (hence the popularity of Mafia Wars on Facebook).

For the record, Nielsen says the least trusted source is text-ads on cell phones. Survey says those buggers are even more suspect than online banner ads.

Nielsen: Consumers Trust Online Opinions [Adweek]
(Photo: me and the sysop)