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Information-Driven Business: How to Manage Data and Information for Maximum Advantage by Robert Hillard

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Chapter 8. A Model for Computing Based on Information Search

With metadata in place, there is much more that can be done beyond simply discovering the business meaning behind a data set that has already been identified. Metadata can drive the use of information and even dramatically improve the way computers are used to do almost every business task.

There is a phenomenal buzz around online search engine companies, which, to the casual observer, seems to be more related to hype around the Internet than any particularly strong business model. There must, however, be something that justifies the share price. Hype or not, these online search companies have the older technology businesses every bit as scared as they were in 1997 when they belatedly realized that the future was the Internet and not interconnected private networks, such as MSN and AOL. One thing is for sure, the smart money isn't betting on these businesses because of advertising revenue. While such income might be welcome, it isn't core business for the tech companies, who are scrambling to match the search engines function for function. To understand the motivation, it is worth rewinding to the early 1990s and the birth of the World Wide Web, as it is known today.

The first exposure that most early-adopting technology consumers had of the Internet was via a now long-gone technology called Gopher. Gopher was an Internet revolution, since, prior to its adoption, the only way to access resources had been to log directly ...

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