Volume 17, Number 4 • April 2000
...And I-don't-know's on third — The commoditization of confusion reigns in the online information industry
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.