Networks, Noise and Navigation: Sustaining Metcalfe’s Law through Technological Innovation
AbstractThe paper examines the relationship between network externalities and the value ofthe World-Wide Web. It is shown that value depends on two offsetting effects. First,as the Web grows in size, so existing users gain from the additional content providedby new users. This is the standard concept of a network externality. However, at thesame time, a large and expanding network can suffer from congestion. Congestioncan manifest itself in the time taken to download information from the Web. But anarguably more important problem is navigating the very large number of webpages onoffer and to identify the particular page containing information that is of interest.These navigation issues have serious implications for the continued growth of theWeb, as described by Metcalfe’s Law.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Maastricht : MERIT, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology in its series Research Memoranda with number 009.
Date of creation: 1999
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