Making A Shift: In this day and age, students are blessed with an infinite amount of information at their fingertips; the Internet, with its multiplicity, is able to connect us instantly to anything from entertainment to academia. With so much content, it is easy to allow oneself to get sucked into a few regular selections. The deeper I have gotten into college and the busier I become, I find myself wandering to sites like Netflix, Hulu, or Youtube less and spending more time on sites that will answer my academic questions. Having just had a finance exam this week, I spent much of my time prior to taking it on Investopedia.
Investopedia is one of the world’s leading sources of financial content on the web. Most of the content published on the site is focused on investing education and financial news. Since its start in 1999, it has been bought, owned, and sold by companies like Goldman Sachs and Forbes.
Today, more and more people are taking their learning into their own hands, using the internet to acquire and enrich their lives with new knowledge. Now, more than ever, the importance for sites to look professional, sound professional, and provide wanted information as concisely as possible is stressed by the needs of the fast paced individual.
Simplicity with Purpose: In a quickening world where no one has the time for a lengthy textbook or longwinded publication, it is information supplied with the most simplicity and reliability that people are drawn to. It is why short cartoons and memes have become ever so popular; people desire a quick, simple blurb of entertainment to feel momentarily satisfied before moving on to something else.
Similarly, the fast paced, academically oriented individual is what sites like Investopedia capitalize on. Whenever one of my peers or I have a finance related query, one of the first sites that Google lists is Investopedia with a link to a page related to the desired information. Depending on the depth of the question, the content is either a brief definition or an extensive analysis of complex subject matter. Regardless of the length, it is always presented well organized, frequently with examples, and in terms that can be understood by most people, whether they have a financial background or not.
Navigability: However, an ever growing number of the general population is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with having to extend even the slightest bit more effort than they believe necessary in order to find what they want online. (Simply ask yourself when the last time you went past the first page of Google search results; many people won’t even look past the first four or five links.) It is this very need to be able to quickly locate desired information that many sites, including Investopedia, have added extra features to their sites like search bars and online databases for the convenience of their users.
Additionally there is an ever increasing trend of sites having a very “busy” home page, often with live and recent information, catering to people’s need for easy connection to the most relevant data and articles possible. In this way, Investopedia has joined many of its peers in the financial world by putting live images of common stock exchange data and its most recently published news articles, which follow the trends and interests of its most commonly served and enthusiastic users. There is a certain duality and contradiction of desiring simplicity while also seeking an extensive source of multiplicity.
The world is as ever changing as our preferences; as our preferences for seeking out information change, so too do the methods for providing it.