Information is said to be the “ultimate solution of uncertainty”. It answers the age-old question of what an object is and therefore defines both the physical nature and its form. In the modern scientific community the definition of information is a collection of data that can be used to describe and predict an object’s properties. The theory of information is very complicated, involving hundreds of disciplines and innumerable relationships, but we will only discuss one of its many sub-parts.
The information is used by us in everyday life to make sense of all the different situations we face. We acquire information in our daily lives through books, newspapers, the television, and the Internet. The information thus acquires the status of knowledge. Knowledge in turn is a term used to describe those “facts” or “opinions” that are necessary for us to make our judgements about the world and other people. To give a very general example we can note that the knowledge of where a specific body of water lies, the latitudes and longitudes of the planets, the names and birth dates of individuals, and so on, constitutes a body of knowledge known as “reliability”.
One could view knowledge and information as two separate concepts, but they are not. Information is used daily by millions of people in all walks of life and is crucial to their everyday lives. Without information society would come to a complete standstill. Knowledge on the other hand is the process of gaining knowledge about matters that are of a practical nature. The two concepts are often used interchangeably, but are in fact different entities with different functions and goals.
One of the purposes of information is to provide access to the relevant information needed by the users. Accessibility means ensuring that information is usable by the target group. In other words, the information must be accessible in the right way in order for people to make use of it.
Another purpose of information is to share information. Sharing is the basis of the information society, and refers to the process of distributing as well as publicizing the knowledge base of the organization. For this to happen knowledge needs to be well understood by the many users who will access it. This is another purpose of information; without the exchange of information, knowledge is impossible to obtain or disseminate.
The Internet has made information practically accessible to everyone. Now everyone has a digital copy of all the information they will ever need, and this is done at no extra charge. With this, information has become common property. The value of information therefore is not based on its scarcity, but its usefulness to the many users who will put it to good use