Volume 17, Number 4 April 2000
...And I-don't-know's on third
The commoditization of confusion reigns in the online information
by Barbara Quint
QUINT'S ONLINE column compares the online information industry to
comedy. States that a lot of customers feel like the Three Stooges
when they try to track what they are getting for their money and/or
time. Notes that clarifying the situation will not be easy, and
vendors attempting the task may end up feeling like Abbott, while
their interested but bewildered audience might feel like Costello.
Says that aggregations of full-text sources represent the greatest
confusion, but vertical search engines, portal sites, and search
engines that merge Web searching with full-text offerings increase
the difficulties. Explains why clarification of sources matters so
much to librarians and information professionals. Advises vendors
that when they argue the value of a high-priced brand for which they
will not identify contents, to duck when the bean ball whizzes
toward an ear.
Internet & Personal Computing Abstracts
© 2000 Information Today, Inc.