Chapters 5 : Business, Issues and Controversies

Sections 3 : Internet Controversies

Information Overload

The Internet, especially now that more and more people and businesses are connecting, contains a vast amount amount of Information on a host of subjects. Because of this, a problem of getting the precise information a user is looking for is difficult. This situation is called information overload.

Information gathering and queries can be done via mailing lists. If a user is a part of a mailing list, they can send a message to the list and a copy of the message will be sent to everyone on the list. Now as discussed previously, mailing list can be setup differently so several messages are grouped together according to their submission time or sent to mailing list members individually. Regardless to the method, there is a potential to reach thousands of people worldwide. However, this is not always benefical, because now you as the sender become a target of users from the mailing list flooding you wil respondence that you may not have time to read or worth reading. This is a form of information overloading.

To minizimize information overloading can be done by subscribing to a newsgroup. Newsgroups circulate among millions of networks that make up the Internet. These are central area for information and queries to be collected. This will reduce the amount of respondence directed to your mailbox directly. Like mailing lists you subscribe to newsgroups. The difference is mailing list have the information sent to you. Where in newsgroups, you as the subscriber is responsible to to to the information. This is done, by checking with the newsgroup on a regular basis. Depending on the newsgroup will determine how frequent you should check. Newsgroups allow you to flip through messages easily until the user finds a subject/ thread that shows some interest to them. The difficulty with newsgroup is there are so many, it is difficult for a user to know which newsgroup to post their message too. This is also known as information overloading.

Information overloading can also be accomplished by the fact the amount of information on the Internet is growing and rarely updated. Therefore the information can be useful, but out of date and could require verification depending on the data.

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