Survivability of free information resources on the Web
Romano, Charles A.
Haga, William J.
David R. Henderson.
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Economists rightly believe that people rarely give away valuable resources. Yet a casual look at the World Wide Web suggests otherwise. This thesis shows that the economists are right: firms and organizations, even on the World Wide Web, rarely give away valuable information. Instead, the Web sites are "advertising sites." Just as "free TV" is based on paid advertising, apparently free access to Web sites is really access to advertising. This conclusion is based on a statistical analysis of 58 Web sites. The sites were chosen using the snowball relational sampling technique, whereby one Web site leads logically to others. Five percent of the sampled sites were closed during the period of the study. Hypothesis testing using the variables category, product, motive, revenue base, charges, and documentation permit the conclusion that the remaining 95 percent are likely to be maintained by their hosts and sponsors. This is comforting news for DoD users of informational services on the Web. DoD users are likely to have access to such services in the future.
Information Technology Management
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