Wednesday, April 05, 2006

If its online, it must be true...

Finding the answer to your question with Google or another online search engine is usually fairly easy. Determining whether it's the right answer is the problem. So how sure can you be that the website is authentic? Try these out:

  • Which WTO website would you trust? A or B
  • Which food pyramid is official? A or B

While the real site may be pretty easy to spot in these examples, it's not always the case. So, remember to be a bit skeptical and pay attention to details like the domain name. ".gov" is for federal government sites, while ".net" can be used by any internet provider.

Other questions to ask:

  • Who are the authors of the website? Do they have an agenda or a viewpoint that may bias the information you want to rely on?
  • When was the site last updated? If you can't tell, be sure to update the information with another source.

Thanks to Mary Ellen Bates for the examples.