Skip to main content

The concept of Information Brokers

I am a long-time Futurist, and technologist. In my career, I have spanned the birth of personal computers, to the rise of Cloud Computing.


what happens in 60 seconds on the internet?

I published an article on Hubpages about a week ago focused on the question of how do we improve the quality of information on the internet. You can find it here. I know I am doing the get off my lawn thing a little, and I wanted to clarify some of the concepts in that article.

In part to get people off my lawn. But also to clarify what it is we are talking about when we talk about information on the internet. Let’s start with the reality of the amount of data that the internet represents. In any one 60 seconds, average, there are more than 20 million credit card transactions on the internet. While those credit card transactions are going through, there are also more than 2.5 million searches happening on the various internet search engines. At the same time, as the first two, there are even more than 300 million emails sent and received.

All of that in one minute. 60 seconds. Every hour, every day, all year long. That is average, but it is essential to not just how much information there is on the internet. No wonder I can’t find that email you sent me a week ago (could you please resend it?) There is so much information flowing every minute on the internet.

It is no wonder then that we throw up our hands and say, too much. We sometimes call this drinking from the firehose. It seemed like a good idea until we turned the firehose on to get that drink. Then the 100psi or more water pressure made drinking impossible.

So what can we do, we have a firehose, the internet. We need to drink water. But based on the numbers, there is a lot of water. But the information is growing fast. Just in the time you’ve spent on this article, there were more than 500 new videos uploaded to youtube. How can we search the internet when it is growing faster than we can trust, but verify the information we need to find?

Did I mention since you started reading this, there are more than 500 new websites on the internet? What if one of those new sites has the information you need? None of those new web sites are searchable via a search engine. It takes search engines 24 or more hours to add new websites and index their content.

Seriously, which Beatle had the best hair?

We need help, plus honestly, scrolling through a long list of search results on your mobile phone isn’t the easiest thing to do. What we need is something designed to link information, people, and their need. As far as I know, searching the internet has not yet become a hobby. It may someday become a hobby, although that is an awkward conversation.

  • “What do you do for fun?”
    “I search the internet.”

That might create an automatic social distancing response!

What we need is a system that we can use to do three things. The first is the sort through all the information on the internet and provide us with answers to questions.

  • Which of the Beatles had the best hair?
  • What dog breed is best in a city apartment?
  • What car works best in cold weather?

These are questions that people might ask. You could simply search for the answer. The question about the Beatles hair is the most interesting since there are no standards for hair cut quality or hair “quality” you end up with a lot of personal opinions (yes, I agree with those who say Paul’s hair!)

Using the system I designed called Information Brokers, in this scenario, you would go a broker and give them your questions. In the case of that last question, they would ask you for the subjective attributes you were looking for in the responses. For the other two, they would provide you with validated sources of information on the best breed of dog for city life and the best care when it is freezing.

It brings up two types of questions. The first type, which Beatle had the best hair, is subjective, and anyone can have an opinion because it is merely personal preference. The same is true to a degree with the question about dogs in apartments. But, we can establish the things we need in asking the question. A dog that doesn’t bark might be a requirement. The last question, though, isn’t subjective and has somewhat empirical data around it.

You probably wouldn’t go to an information broker for the Beatles question. In that case, you would possibly broach that question at a party of social gathering. The dog breed issue is one that you would probably talk to family, friends, and coworkers first, and then validate the information you gathered with an information broker.

The last issue, a car in the cold is less subjective and an excellent fit for asking an Information Broker. You will get back information related to your question, which is verified information.

Now, If you will excuse me, I have to search my inbox for a lost email!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 DocAndersen


DocAndersen (author) from US on May 29, 2020:

well honestly you just netted out the problem in a single sentence. The reality of information is, do we trust the source!

Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on May 27, 2020:

I don't know enough to know what I'm missing. LOL.

DocAndersen (author) from US on April 24, 2020:

agreed! but that information can be risky if you have to have the right answer!

Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on April 24, 2020:

It used to be that I went to the public library for fun. But the library is no longer conveniently located nearby so I had stopped going long before social distancing started. My substitute for the library is searching the Internet. Sometimes it's a serious activity. But a lot of times it's just for fun. Whatever floats you boat and that's how I float mine. LOL.

Related Articles