Monday, September 8, 2008

Information Horizons


I would like to introduce the concept of Information Horizons. For the more scholarly, please feel free to read the work of Sonnenwald in regard to this concept.

The Information Horizons approach to studying information-seeking behavior takes into account the larger world of information instead of one particular source. With any subject matter in mind, from a scientific inquiry to which blender to buy, we can see that multiple sources are often searched through including not only the internet, but friends, family, magazines, newspapers, etc. Anything that can relay information can be seen as a source of information.

In an IH study participants are asked to map their information horizons creating a network where the nodes represent information sources. Sometimes the lines going from the information seeker to the source represent primary searches, sometimes the lines go between sources (as in after asking Aunt Betty about her blender, I then searched items on Amazon from that same company).

I am excited to be performing a study using IH in terms of the presidential campaign. Hopefully, the results will be eye-opening for all students of Information Communication, Behavior, Architecture, and the like.

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