Over the past 10 years, many public and private sector pilot projects have been developed to apply information technology in meeting the information needs of the general public. Several of these are reviewed, including government- and university-sponsored teletext and home computer information services, and the commercial videotex systems developed by Knight Ridder Publishing Co. and the Times Mirror and Warner Amex communications companies. These services have been effective in rapidly disseminating information to consumers. However, they are not readily accessible to persons who traditionally have been excluded from the information infrastructure, such as the economically and socially disadvantaged. These systems by no means provide the variety of information consumers need to manager their daily lives in an increasingly complex and uncertain environment. Response to consumers' coping needs will require the development of comprehensive consumer information networks.
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