How to Contribute to the Information Age

The information age took off with the introduction of home computers in the 80s and the internet in the early 1990s in northern hemisphere's developed countries, later spreading more widely as computers and communications technology became more readily available to all countries. Instead on focusing on physical production like the preceding industrial age, the information age focuses on the production of information in a digital format that is readily and easily accessible by a wide variety of people no matter their background, beliefs, language, age, etc.

The information age is a reason for why you access this site with its 193,201 useful articles available at the click of a mouse. The information age shows that information matters as a form of currency (both keeping up-to-date and making money), as a way to open up communications between cultures and people of varying backgrounds, and it provides tools which allow access to information that previously only those in roles of governing were privy to. Even information that is still supposed to remain under wraps leaks onto Wikileaks, exposing many fraudulent, greedy, and unethical governing and criminal practices. Every time you go onto a computer or go online, you're participating in the information age - even shopping with credit cards and reward points is participating in the information age, so what's holding you back?!


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    Create and share content.
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    Get into social media. There are so many ways that you can become involved in the information age, that there is bound to be something that works for you. It might be any one of the following, or something that hasn't even yet been thought up (perhaps you will?!):
    • Wikis While a search engine can bring you information from any website, it is sometimes better to have fewer websites with more information in them. Wikis do that, so they are among the only websites people really need - wikiHow for instructions, Wikipedia for encyclopedia-style articles and word definitions, wikiTravel for traveling, and Wikileaks for exposing the underworld activities of those who should know better. Wikis are also good because they make things less complicated for you while even as they are constantly getting more information.
    • Twitter - Get tweeting and share 140 words of wisdom with many others of a like mind!
    • MySpace or Facebook - Leave messages, join groups, start a fad, share your stories and photos - there are so ways to use these sites to extend your reach beyond your own patch of soil
    • Flickr and other photo sites - Share your images and the way you see the world with many others, join image groups, have a competition - there are lots of possibilities
    • Online auctions - Yes, remarkably this is also getting involved in the information age (no more standing in drafty and dusty auction rooms). People sell all kinds of things, from what's tangible and collecting dust in their house, to e-books about all sorts of ideas, and even to single recipes and spells! Bright ideas can sell, especially when targeted to gaps, packaged well, or even for raising money for charity, so put on your thinking cap.
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    Start searching. Use search engines for everything you used to use a book for. Even the Yellow Pages are online. So are cafes, restaurants, libraries, car sales, tailors, caterers, organizers, you name it. You can even learn a language online now, with all the pronunciation provided for you!
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    Learn HTML or programming. Why let others do all the work and only give you WYSIWYG? How about investing some time in learning the code behind the fancy stuff so that you too can recreate it and make something special out of your information knowledge? HTML is not as hard as a foreign language but it does take repeated practice, as with learning a language. Programming is more difficult but if it interests you and you're attuned to it, give it a go.
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    Invest in new breakthrough technologies. Buy the stocks and products of companies working on new things that will help shape the future.
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    Start a company using information technology. If you're good at information production, consider starting up a company in the field of your information expertise. Anyone able to see the information needs and trends and act on them effectively can run a very enjoyable and profitable business in the information age. Be sure to do your homework on the competitors out there but be inspired by people who have started networking and auction sites - pretty incredible achievements for small ideas that these people acted on.
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    Change your career or start a new one. Alternately, if you're not keen on being your own boss just yet, research existing careers in information technology and knowledge management to find what fits you best. The beauty of learning broad basics in information technology is that if you're not yet sure what you want to do in the information age, nor what your niche will be, by the time you've completed your studies, there will be a whole new range of jobs available for you to consider! Just be prepared, and ready to go with the information flow.

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Categories: Education and Communications