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When Does Information Become Knowledge?

The article in Äripäev [‘Business Day’] ‘An offer impossible to refuse’ highlights the point that some entrepreneurs are concerned that Inforegister is displaying adverts of their competitors on their profiles. The seriousness of the issue is, however, undermined by the fact that advertisement surrounding this article by Äripäev works on exactly the same principle contested by entrepreneurs! This rises two questions: firstly, are some more equal than others? Secondly and more importantly, who decides when fact becomes information, and information becomes knowledge?

Pot calling the kettle black, but both are actually…clean?

The article stresses the issue that a company’s profile on Inforegister actually displays adverts of a competing enterprise. Right underneath the paragraph, Äripäev advertises its client – a competitor of the two other companies mentioned in the text right above. Scrolling still further down, an ad for a debt collection company – a competitor for Inforegister and the Kreedix Group – comes up. This casts a whole new light on the article.

SCREENSHOT

This is anything but an ‘innovative’ business model. Let’s take Google’s AdWords for example. When someone searches the keyword ‘Äripäev’, the link to the purchaser of this keyword comes up first. When you go to a shop, Prisma for example, you might see an advert of a competing chain, say Selver, there. Google AdWords and advertising in the vicinity of a competitor are used by many, including those who do not appreciate our solution.

Our strength is that we can target adverts and messages more precisely. The Inforegister environment boasts motivated visitors looking for specific companies. If I for instance need the services of a chimneysweep, then comparative advertising allows me to see other providers of a similar service. Our enterprise is client-oriented and I see no reason not to give our customers the opportunity to display their messages and offers.

When then does fact become information and information become knowledge?

The part causing serious concern is this: ‘All on my acquaintances checked their companies, too. There is complete injustice there – like when you’ve sold a company 10 years ago and now the company is botched up, and now there are sentences about you there that ‘the former companies of this owner have tax arrears’.’ It is alarming that some people think they can do whatever takes their fancy, without realising that their actions leave behind economic and digital footprints. Is revealing the former activities of a board member really so worrisome?

These activities are a fact and as a business portal, we report on facts only. The knowledge is created by the reader. We call it as it is – even if the fact is that somebody has been a board member of a company that is now in debt.

The reader creates the knowledge

We are not evaluating if something’s good or bad, it is the readers that draw the conclusions. The results highlighted in the Activity Stories can be reached using whichever business information portal (on the condition that the portal provides information on debts). For example, you can check anyone’s invalid and valid relations on the Business Register and check on the Tax and Customs Board webpage if any of the relations have any tax arrears. It’s just that we have automated this task and saved our clients a lot of time.

I would say it is taking it too far to claim: ‘In principle, the situation is that they can add anything around whichever company profile and there’s nothing you can do about it.’ Inforegister is not making anything up, it is MERELY reporting on the board member’s own actions. Dare to own up to what you’ve done!

Inforegister’s mission

Our mission is fair and transparent economy, and we support strong and competitive entrepreneurship. We help the strong become stronger, but no company that is bankrupt or up to its neck in debts can pretend to be any better than it actually is.

Now have a look at a bankrupt company, for instance, E&G – how does it look?

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