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Sunday, May 22, 2005

The World Wide Web As The Junk Yard!!

Looking at the global Google search patterns,as published in Google Zeitgeist,I was surprised to find that 99% of the top queries listed therein was never ever tried by me in the last several years –As a power user of the internet and search engines –particularly Google & Yahoo – I realized that the internet is hosting so much of junk and users literally search against absolutely nil value items. Not that all listed in google’s zeitgeist is junk though – I would leave it to the readers to judge on that count. We recently covered, on the topic The Total Information Available In The World wherein the size of the web was seen to be the equivalent of the Library of congress. Current estimates of the number of Internet users run in the tens of millions, perhaps 50 M, and this might grow to one billion; thus a factor of twenty is available by increasing the number of people on the Web. If assuming that people put more and more of their life online best estimated to be a factor of 20.This suggests that the amount of Ascii on the Web might increase to 800 terabytes. If the web is like this, the enteprise level scenario is no different.
Microsoft chairman Bill gates recently talked about effectively handling
information overload inside the enterprise.

Through Kingsley Idehen,I came across Igor Palmer's writing, The WWW is the greatest junk yard of low grade information. Igor argues that the value of the Internet as a repository of useful information is very low. Carl Shapiro in Information Rules suggests that the amount of actually useful information on the Internet would fit within roughly 15,000 books, which is about half the size of an average mall bookstore. To put this in perspective: there are over 5 billion unique, static & publicly accessible web pages on the world wide web. Apparently Only 6% of web sites have educational content (Maureen Henninger, Don’t just surf the net: Effective research strategies). Even of the educational content only a fraction is of significant informational value.

Igor rightly points out, the Internet is popular hugely due to :
Convenience:Since everybody is using the same thing – the WWW – there’s no compelling or competitive pressure to seek out quality information.
Lack of alternative: All feed on the same junk.
For those who are skilled in finding the nuggets of valuable information an online library of 15,000 quality books is an attractive proposition.The importance of the semantic web and the framework for the next generation web becomes more significant and timely than ever. The promise of the semantic web protocols aiming to let computers distinguish different kinds of data looks gifted. Armed with those distinctions, applications could more automatically trade information,connecting data to its context - for example between an online address book and a cell phone. A Web site could automatically reconfigure itself on the fly based on the needs of a particular visitor. Search engines could narrow down results with greater precision.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"