Unlocking the Value of Nanotech Information

There must be plenty of people queuing up to buy “nanotech” judging by the appearance of yet another site offering  “news about nanotechnology products and related developments, along with free listings in the business directory for any business or organization involved with nanotechnology.” NanoVIP, Nanotech-Now, Nanowerk, and AZNano have all put lots of time and effort into monetizing nanotechnology information, with little apparent reward.

Since nanotech emerged onto the web seven or eight years ago,  information has become essentially free. What took us a couple of days to pull together when we launched TNT Weekly back in 2000 has now become as simple as setting up an automated alert via Google, Yahoo, or a number of other specialist information retrieval services. As a result, the real focus has shifted from simply aggregating nanotech items, resulting in the usual hodge podge of articles that look like the result of an explosion in a technical library, to more structured information sources, and of course some degree of insight into what it all means.

We have move from thirsting for information, to thirsting for knowledge which is an entirely different thing. That explains why people will happily subscribe to publications such as Nature Nanotechnology, where the accuracy of the information is guaranteed via the peer review system (barring the odd mishap) and comment is invited from experts who presumably know their subject.

What we don’t really need is yet another list of nanotech products or another directory of nanotech companies.  Attempting to lump together all the diverse and multiplying applications of nanotechnology in one place seems to be a thankless task on a web site as it is for many companies (Nanosys and Nanodynamics spring immediately to mind), even some of the sites mentioned above make a good stab at it.

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