Albert Einstein online


  • Steven M. Friedman



Albert Einstein online, information and organisation, organization of the World Wide Web, hierarchical tree, content, hierarchy, organization structure, organizing the Internet, personal bias, bricoleur, human judgment, article


The power of the World Wide Web, it is commonly believed, lies in the vast information it makes available; "Content is king," the mantra runs. This image creates the conception of the Internet as most of us envision it: a vast, horizontal labyrinth of pages which connect almost arbitrarily to each other, creating a system believed to be "democratic" in which anyone can publish Web pages. I am proposing a new, vertical and hierarchical conception of the Web, observing the fact that almost everyone searching for information on the Web has to go through filter Web sites of some sort, such as search engines, to find it. The Albert Einstein Online Web site provides a paradigm for this re-conceptualization of the Web, based on a distinction between the wealth of information and that which organizes it and frames the viewers' conceptions of the information. This emphasis on organization implies that we need a new metaphor for the Internet; the hierarchical "Tree" would be more appropriate organizationally than a chaotic "Web." This metaphor needs to be changed because the current one implies an anarchic and random nature to the Web, and this implication may turn off potential Netizens, who can be scared off by such overwhelming anarchy and the difficulty of finding information.




How to Cite

Friedman, S. M. (1997). Albert Einstein online. First Monday, 2(2).