Use of the internet and the Web

Internet media increasingly widespread, the technology of software and hardware support so that it is the media information into a fast and powerful, able to overcome the conventional media such as print media for example.

Use of the website as the information media in need, especially with the news and web applications Yahoo and Google will display the information according to a wide range or users with the requested page.

The internet is larger than the biggest library you could imagine. At nearly 200 million, the number of website is up to twice the number of books ever published, according to some figures.

Although estimates for book and website numbers are subject to large margins of error, it's clear that the amount of information on the web is many times larger than in print. This is not just because individual websites can have millions of pages or database entries.

But projects to digitize books and place them on the web, like Google Book Search and The British Library's Turning the Pages will make published books just a (small) subset of what's on the web.

With so much data online, how do you find information, and allow your information to be found?

One relatevely new way is the 'share' buttons you increasingly see on websites. These link to social media and bookmarking sites that publisher are increasingly using to help disseminate their information. What's more, anyone can add this functianality easily to their own site, using free technology from sites likd ShareThis and AddThis.

This month, I explore how traditional methods to find information online have failed to keep up with change on the internet. Next mmth, i'll show how you can make use of these new services to find what you need - and allow others to find what you publish.

Why the internet is nothing like a library

You're probably familiar with the Dewey Demical Classification. If so, it wouldn't take you too lomg to work out that books on oceans are shelved under 551.46.

There have been attempts to classify websites the same way. The most prominent was the Yahoo Directory, launched in 1994.

But, as the internet grew, so did problems with fitting websites into a top-down categorization - a 130-year old method of classifying books does not scale well when applied to the internet. The problem is that web pages are nothing like book pages, and the internet is nothing like a library.

So, if you run a directory, how do you find out about all the websites out there?

The answer is that you don't. It's joked that Yahoo stands for 'Yet Anather Hierarchical Officious Oracle'. And this is why its directory failed. A hierarchical - top-down - approach to organizing data doesn't work on something the size and complexity (and mess) of the internet. If you're not convinced, try to find websites about oceans in the Yahoo directory. They are filed under a 'Society and Culture' subfolder - not the most obvious of places.

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