Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Researcher's Tribute to the Internet

The growth and development of the Internet and mobile technology has become invaluable for my bachelors project. Online books, some for free on Google Books or for low cost through Amazon, has increased efficiency when it all comes to time, energy and money.

  • Google Books archiving old books and magazines
  • Academic and industry journals, like JSTOR, making articles available for low-cost purchase as PDFs
  • At least the Massachusetts Historical Society providing me with a PDF copy of a historical document for less than plane tickets, room and board

It has all given me access to information so much easier than before. Who knows if I would have found between a quarter to half this invaluable information without the Internet in its current incarnation.

Maybe I could have reached my current point today without the Internet, but I doubt it. I had done a share of Internet research before getting out of college, but I didn’t get far at all. Dead end after dead end sending me in endless circles.

Yahoo!, Metacrawler and the other search tools didn’t cut it. Had they not developed the search algorithms well enough to fit my needs? Had they not developed the subject hierarchies well enough to intuitively lead me where I needed to go? Had the Internet simply failed to reach the critical mass for the information I needed to get posted? Heck, maybe I just didn’t have the base knowledge to ask the right questions.

Who knows how all these factors have mixed and influenced each other? I’d like to think that I could have reached this point on my own without the help of the Internet. I’m hard put to say that would be the case, though. The progress I’ve made acquiring source material in just the last year or so tells me that the Internet contributes a lot to my current accomplishments.

With all this in mind, I’d like to thank the Internet and the people who work hard to create, post and otherwise provide content. If I had reached these heights in some other way, it would take a lot more time and/or money. Thank you for making acquiring this information possible and doing it efficiently. I may not have gotten here without your help. Thank you.

LINKS OF NOTE: Google Books, Amazon