Saturday, April 9, 2011

Traffic Jams on the Information Superhighway

I've been using the internet almost since its inception. Way back in 1995, the internet was really cool. I could spend hours and hours surfing the net finding really interesting stuff and boatloads of good information. Yahoo had a directory of really good websites. If you were searching for information on a topic, you could find it quickly and easily.

Then the internet went public and anyone who knew HTML could put up a website. The internet was flooded with hobbyist websites of dubious information, pornography, and storefronts. Searching for information became an exercise in frustration, university websites became my places to go for good information in addition to the directories.

Then Yahoo morphed into something other than a directory listing and Google began focusing on its search functions. The Universities realized that students were plagiarizing their webcontent for term papers and locked it away behind a gatekeeper. The professional journals also slammed the door shut on non-academics.

The internet has become a nightmare to navigate if you're looking for information on a scholarly subject like Medieval history. The road is filled with the potholes of amateur misinformation, storefronts selling you a book on the topic, and content farms. We crawl along connecting with our nearest and dearest seven billion friends on facebook and twitter. Spammers and hackers are having a field day getting into people's email accounts, facebook, twitter, etc. They even spam blogger.

AND NOW, NOW! they have figured out a way to spam the Kindle store.


It was only a matter of time before someone figured out a way to game the system.

No comments:

Post a Comment