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The wide WIDE web and the information overload conundrum

“Vague, but exciting”

Aurélien Vasinis
Apr 19, 2019 · 4 min read

These were the words that Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s boss used to describe his proposal titled “Information Management: A Proposal,” submitted 30 years ago. This proposal gave us what we call the World Wide Web today. Inarguably, no invention over the past three decades even comes close to creating the impact that the Web has had on our lives. Quite honestly, it’s hard to imagine a life without this amazing tool that has revolutionized our lives in a truly irreversible way.

And yet, the phrase ‘Vague but exciting’ still accurately describe the World Wide Web as we know it today. Why you ask? Let’s break that down for you.

We live in very exciting times today, and that is thanks in no small part to the power of the internet. With all the innovations prompted by the Web, from search engines to social networking sites, audiobooks to video streaming, and from viral memes to modern day online pop culture, the world would be a lot less colorful without the Web.

Today, there are over 2 billion websites online. Whether you use it for email, research, social media, or checking out cat videos and dog memes, the Web and internet have pervaded our lives and made them far more exciting than we could have imagined thirty years ago.

Wondering if your idea is really as world-changing revolutionary as it sounds in your head? Want to find the name of that song you heard on the radio? Or to understand the technology behind the first photograph of a black hole?

There’s a site for it. And, you have the Web to thank for it.

There truly is no better time to be curious. The internet has been a fascinating place for information junkies and the curious-hearted. Thanks to the Web, you have a community of people united by a curiosity for all things — from the inane and the obscure to the scientific and serious. For all its talk about being isolating and divisive, finding people with a shared sense of purpose and community in modern day life can vastly be attributed to the internet.

There’s no doubt that the Web’s democratization of information has led to previously inconceivable developments in the world of science, technology, art, and of course, business.

While this explains all things exciting about the Web, this world continues to be vastly vague — leaving much to how we use it.

Is sugar really all that bad? Is there really a thing as too much exercise? Is that really a great business idea? Ask Google, and you have your answer.

Or in Google’s case, answers. And, that is where the problem arises.

By giving us access to the world’s collective knowledge, search engines have made profound changes in the way we think. While the Web undeniably satisfies our search for answers on every topic imaginable, access to information has also made information too easy to come by.

The effect of information overload has been most pronounced in the world of news, and in a webless world, the dissemination of information would be restricted to news agencies, radio, and television. While there’s much to like about the instantness of breaking news, there’s a price to pay — fake news, conspiracy theories by the dozen, inauthentic source and ensuing untruths, all of which have been unwittingly facilitated by the Web. While the Web has democratized information, it has also democratized fame. Anyone can get their two seconds of fame with a viral meme, an offensive tweet, or even a badly researched article yet heavily opinionated article.

With the internet, we’re always connected and almost always ON. And the fallout of that? Ever-shrinking attention spans, click-bait articles, information overload, and most importantly, far too much noise.

While this web is spinning faster and faster, our capacity to process data and information is not.

We need new tools to handle the menace of fake news, by crowd-checking information for authenticity to deliver reliable insights on demand.

The internet has immense potential in its powers to connect — to connect people, to connect brains, to connect people with different perspectives and skills. The need of the hour is to make sure these resources work effectively and efficiently — to deliver maximum value.

brainsfeed is an earnest attempt to do just that. With knowledge on demand, it harnesses the power of the internet to provide businesses unlimited brain power at their fingertips. brainsfeed unleashes the expertise of its crowd-sourced analysts to provide insights and solutions for leading businesses.

brainsfeed

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