Monday, November 01, 2004

The Changing Information Cycle

In the Sept./Oct. issue of Online, Greg R. Notess writes on "The Changing Information Cycle." Prior to the Internet, the information life-cycle followed a clear path from rumor through article and on to appearing in a published index. But with the Internet, the life-cycle has changed so that commentary, corrections, and updated information can appear in nearly any sequence and at any time. At the end of the article Notess talks about the need to retrain ourselves in how we search for answers on the Internet. He says, "...I find that I am working on retraining myself to dig more deeply on the Web, to look more broadly at the range of answers, and to search for the combination of resources that gives a more knowledgeable answer. Much of that retraining involves looking at comments critically, to track links in both directions, to seek out divergent views, and to evaluate much of the content based on the Internet's information cycle rather than the print information cycle."

We must also retrain ourselves to look for more than words. With more information becoming available as audio, video and image files (through born digital as well as digitization efforts), we need to look for information in any format.

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