The Message Is the Medium: Online All the Time for Everyone

By Tom Koch | Go to book overview

5
Finding It: The Organization of Online Material

Damn. Where did I see that article on living wills? I know I read it a few weeks ago, but was it in the Toronto Star, or in a magazine at the dentist's office? Perhaps it was in US News and World Report. But then, maybe it was actually in Time Magazine, or Harper's. Now that I need the data it contained, well, the story's location is lost in the morass of "I forget," with only the fleeting of memory of "this is important" left behind.

That's the problem. We know things are out there which might help us in our personal lives. But where are they? How to find the data online, or resources that will lead to it, is a problem. After all, almost no one remembers every book, article, or reference work they have read. Even the fortunate few with photographic memories, those who can say, "Oh yes, it was in the Wall Street Journal, September 26, 1995, page 13, column 1" are not exempt. Their memory extends only as far as their experience, not to the wealth of published materials that they have not read but suspect are out there, bearing on an issue of personal, immediate concern.

In the burgeoning world of public knowledge, nobody is encyclopedic. There was a time, several hundred years ago, when one person could in fact know all that time and society had to teach. But in those days the Bible was the source of all wisdom, ancient Greek texts had the last word on science, and a royal library might include, at most,

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The Message Is the Medium: Online All the Time for Everyone
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • 1 - The Medium is the Message" and Other Myths of the Evolving, Electronic Age" 1
  • Notes 13
  • 2 - Old News: The Necessity for Change 15
  • Notes 33
  • 3 - Everybody's Resource: The Knowledge Center 35
  • Notes 54
  • 4 55
  • Notes 75
  • 5 - Finding It: The Organization of Online Material 77
  • Note 99
  • 6 - The Internet: Fact and Context 101
  • Notes 123
  • 7 - Mute Dialogues: Hope and Despair Online 125
  • Notes 146
  • 8 - Virtual" Realities:" 147
  • 9 165
  • Note 184
  • 10 - Quality: Fact and Opinion 185
  • 11 201
  • Notes 219
  • Selected Bibliography 221
  • Index 225
  • About the Author 229
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