Many people are now influenced by the information and advice they find on the Internet, much of it of dubious quality. This article describes two studies concerned with those factors capable of influencing people's response to online advice. The first study is a qualitative account of a group of house-hunters attempting to find worthwhile information online. The second study describes a survey of more than 2,500 people who had actively sought advice over the Internet. A framework for understanding trust in online advice is proposed in which first impressions are distinguished from more detailed evaluations. Good web design can influence the first process, but three key factors-source credibility, personalization, and predictability-are shown to predict whether people actually follow the advice given.
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