Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The Web is alive with news stories, pictures, music, and videos. How will organizations, managers, and other users find out what content is available, then locate it, analyze it, and make it meaningful? In this tutorial, we identify and classify eight types of information delivery systems (IDS) that we refer to as alpha, beta, gamma and delta and push technologies. For pull technologies we explain "surfing the Web", search engines, spiders and bots, personal agents, and finally evolutionary agents. For push technologies we explain Webcasting, channels and subscriptions, and data mining methods for determining preferences and filtering topics. We also examine the role of the evolutionary agents in push technologies. Throughout the paper, we provide examples of current pull and push technologies in each of the categories for pull and push. We include both personal and corporate applications. We then examine the managerial and social implications of higher-level IDS and suggest what is in store for users of information delivery systems in the future.