This essay aims to explain in a brief way the ways that Internet has affected information. The decision to differentiate and choose quality information among thousands of resources. However Internet has a great amount of resources that contain an overflow of information and the decision of choosing the appropriate depends on the ability of the individual. Also this essay describes the availability of free information mostly free of charge, which is provided particularly by commercial and marketing companies.
Furthermore this essay is being focused in some specific ways of selecting and interpreting quality information, such as credibility, accuracy, reasonableness and support. Concluding, Internet has made information easy to find, because it's easier to access. For this reason there are some certain steps that the user has to follow in order information will be based on supportive evidence and truth that will endorse the statement that the Internet is an endless source of valuable information.
Internet was first created by people who had the need to exchange information for scientific and military matters. It was primarily used by scientists from various scientific fields like engineers, computer experts librarians and others whose need for communication and exchanging information was very essential. In the early stages, Internet was only permitted to education and government use. This happened because it was initially sponsored by the government therefore commercial uses were not allowed. These constraints have formulated Internet until the early 90's.
Then more commercial and public networks started to arise. After a certain period of time, people became more familiarized with the Internet concept, and they started, use the global network for certain tasks according to their preferences. Either for information, education, communication or even purchasing goods. As microcomputers were becoming more powerful providing users a multimedia resource and as certain commands became known to the public, Internet became a necessity to people's everyday activities.
In addition Universities and libraries discovered efficient ways to transfer files with each other with the appearance of certain transfer protocols like FTP. (File Transfer Protocol) In the beginning, when Internet wasn't so popular and it concerned a small amount of people mainly for business purposes, it was very simple to handle the available resources, and evaluate them accordingly. But as Internet was becoming more habituate by the public, it became extremely complex.
Many companies and organizations were using the net to advertise and also many universities were using the net even more for variety of purposes. As a result, the information that internet had, was very difficult to locate. Because information is something valuable, and at the right time can alter people's life it is essential to define information and to identify what part of it can be really valuable. "Information is data endowed with relevance and purpose. Converting data into information thus requires knowledge. And knowledge is by definition specialised.
" Drucker (1990) p. 202 "Anything that can be digitized, encoded as a stream of bits is information. " Shapiro, Varian (1999) p. 3 The need for introducing methods, that would help Internet redeem from the chaotic flow of information are some certain tools, which would be a great assistance for individuals to track easily the available information in the net. Also people that wish to spend a certain amount of money to purchase information through internet must be very careful, as they would be if they purchase off line.
One of the major advantages that Internet can provide is that the materials that are available can be accessed with no time consuming, can be distributed easily, in any time and in any place. Research in scientific subjects or the inquiry of certain information can be done anywhere a computer and a connection are available. The Internet now is in such a way constructed, that it can provide activities in many things. Like purchasing, provide knowledge and information, Commercial and Marketing trends and other valuable resources which before internet was introduced, would be very difficult for the individuals to access them.
In addition professionals and scientists are able to make comparisons between different ideas, that will help them, improve their point of view in specific subjects, without dedicate great deal of time. Information found on the web can also be printed or saved in a directory, for easy access in the future The Internet literally offers information, from every part of the world, which is difficult to find in any other location.
It's essentially easy to publish individually, work anonymously expressing judgments, opinions and ideas that can influence people and at the same time not being judged. In other words Internet can offer freedom of ideas to anyone that wants to express them. Nowadays, access to information has brought consumers in a position of "power" than the producers because they can make easily comparisons of the different products and the different prices that Internet provides in order to have alternative solutions before they purchase a particular product.
Nevertheless, Internet caused some problems concerning information that are becoming vital for the future use of the net and also for its efficiency towards the public. From the one hand there is too much information on certain topics, causing superfluity and overlap. "A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention" Shapiro, Varian (1999) p. 6. From the other hand there is limited and inefficient information in certain topics causing information to be inaccurate and misleading. In many cases there is no imposed order and checks concerning quality are not performed.