Knowledge is power

时间:2019-03-07 04:20:01166网络整理admin

We are allegedly entering the information age. But where, precisely, is the useful information in the Web’s 800 million pages? And how much does it cost? “Information wants to be free,” may be the mantra of many a nethead, but that’s not the way everyone sees it. Just because Encyclopaedia Britannica (www. britannica.com) is setting its controls to freeplay doesn’t mean there isn’t a buck to be made. And over at www.infomarco.com they’re betting people are willing to pay for the answers to pressing questions. Just as the auction site eBay links buyers and sellers, Infomarco aims to hook up people with questions to people with answers, on anything from computers to poetry. The idea is that you post your question and how much you’re willing to pay for the answer, and someone who knows sells it to you. They’re still testing it using funny money, so you can have a go for free. But Infomarco is just the latest of a number of businesses that mean to make information a real commodity. And at www.exp.com, they take a different tack, selling you a “relationship” with a trusted adviser. After you and your adviser have discussed your problem or question, and come up with an answer, you get an electronic invoice. Meanwhile, there’s www.ithority.com, where info experts can display their wares and see who wants to buy. Experts include a philosopher who advises on subjects from venture capital to epistemology. There are a bunch more, including www.expertcentral.com, www. expertcity.com, and the techie site www.hotdispatch.com. It’s still not clear how willing people are to pay for Internet info when they can get it for free, provided they know where to look. In addition to Usenet newsgroups, try http://KnowPost.com, where people trade info for free. And of course, don’t forget New Scientist’s Last Word database at www.last-word.com. As if you would. More on these topics: