But Wait, There's More!

When you have finished the last page of the last section of the Houston Chronicle, you think that you've read the paper for that day. But you haven't. There's a whole lot more on the Houston Chronicle's Web site, often material which never sees print at all, except in the electronic realm of cyberspace.

Anymore, it's common to get to the end of an article, especially about the space station or the space shuttle and there will be a line about for more information see this URL (in this case the Chronicle's Space Chronicle).

Scientific American, in its April 2001 issue, even goes so far as to apologize to its print readers for this phenomenon: "These days, SA [Scientific American ] is literally more than can fit between magazine covers. Visit http://www.sciam.com, our Web site, for a roster of original articles (updated daily), supplements to the printed articles, and opportunities to communicate with the editors and authors." (p.8)

Someone recently introduced me to Book-TV which is aired on C-SPAN 2 on the weekends (that is, when the U.S. Senate is not in session). Book-TV airs extended book talks by authors who are often in front of an audience not only talking about their non-fiction (lots of history & politics) as well as their biographical books but also taking questions from the audience for an hour or hour & a half. Want to know which author is scheduled to speak when and/or some more about the author on currently? The companion Web site has a wealth of information.

The beauty of the Web (as is true for computers generally) is that it is easy to find out just as much as you want to know without being overwhelmed with stuff you'd rather not know. It's like a spigot. You can turn it on like you'd fill a glass of water and when you've absorbed as much information as you are interested in for the moment, you can turn it off by ceasing to follow links and instead you can go to another site (or log off altogether).

It's getting to the point that the have-nots (those without their own computer connected to the Internet at home or just those who do have access but haven't yet found what they need) are more and more at a disadvantage. Fortunately public libraries now offer free access to the Web (you have to pay to print out, of course, because paper & ink are not free to the library), albeit sometimes limited to thirty minutes at a time due to high demand.

Business now routinely includes Web sites in its advertising and rightly so. The retail stores with the brightest futures currently are those which combine bricks with clicks (that is, a physical store with an online companion site, such as Barnes & Noble).

It is no coincidence that I always end my columns with:

For more information see:

  • Houston Chronicle | Book-TV | C-SPAN 2 |
  • 21st Century Handbook (Scientific American on how it's now too big to fit within the printed magazine)
  • Why Is the Internet More Like a Newspaper Than TV?
  • Libraries in the Digital Age: Bridging the Gap Between Information Haves and Have-Nots
  • Haves, Have-Nots, and Have-to-Haves: Net Effects of the Digital Divide
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    Last Modified: 7/9/2001