Consumers are starting to use weblogs, or blogs, as guides to what they should and shouldn't buy, finds a survey.
Many see blogs as trustworthy sources for what they should buy
More than three-quarters of those questioned in the research said they had consulted blogs before shopping.
Respondents said they trusted blogs because they were written by real people and based on actual experiences.
The survey suggests that blogs could soon rival other media as sources of trustworthy information about products and services.
In the survey of attitudes to blogs most of those questioned, 77%, said they thought the regularly updated web journals were a useful way to get insights into the products or services they should buy.
As many blogs were the work of individuals, many believed that they were more honest and reliable because they were not subject to the same marketing pressures as corporate or commercial websites.
"Consumers are tired of marketing gloss and so the interest in blogs is not surprising," said Paul Halfpenny, product manager at survey sponsor Hostway.
"We all want impartial advice and information, as far as consumers are concerned blogs deliver this," he added.
The messages on blogs about the merits or mistakes in gadgets or consumer goods can reach a huge audience, said Mr Halfpenny.
Those most likely to let opinions on blogs influence what they bought, 83%, were those in the 25-34 age group.
As yet, though, the research found that consumers still thought almost every other form of media was at least as trustworthy as blogs.
Almost half, 49%, thought blogs were as credible as articles in magazines, 46% thought web journals were as trustworthy as newspapers and 40% thought web logs and TV news programmes were just as reliable as each other.