Waves of information technology

Case, Donald O. Waves of information technology., 2009 . In IV Encontro Ibérico EDIBCIC , Coimbra (Portugal), 18-20 November 2009. [Conference paper]

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English abstract

This is a history of the various concepts and technologies of a public information utility. The first “wave” existed from about 1900 to 1945, and was centered on the idea of microfilm as an access mechanism to the world’s information. The advocates included Paul Otlet (1934) of Belgium, Englishman H.G. Wells’ vision of a “World Brain” (1938), and American Vanevar Bush and his “Memex” device (1945). The second wave consisted of the development of computers and their networks, which eventually gave rise to the videotex systems of the 1980s, and other pre-Web technologies. The third wave was the development of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, based on improved networks and software. In each of these waves, libraries and publishing were accorded some central role. Is there a fourth wave already: Web 2.0, the socalled “social web” of today? One could say that it is merely a minor extension of the 1990s innovations, and be entirely correct. However, there is a sense in which this “social web” idea returns to earlier ideals of 100 years ago, rooted in notions regarding the evolution of society. Such ideas could be wrong, and even dangerous, however they seem to have powerful appeal to some members of society. But perhaps more of interest, what has happened to libraries, education and publishing in visions of the “social web”?

Item type: Conference paper
Keywords: Information Science; Technologies; evolution
Subjects: A. Theoretical and general aspects of libraries and information.
Depositing user: Carla Ferreira
Date deposited: 14 May 2014 12:14
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:31
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/23013


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