A word for "useful information"?

Is there a single english word for "useful information" in the context of the internet? For instance, the internet contains all types of information - some useful and some useless, some good and some bad, some helpful and some harmful. The word I'm looking for is one that encompasses some/all of the positive aspects of information. I'm grasping at straws so any suggestion is certainly welcome.

  • There is no such word.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 13, 2018 at 21:20
  • Especially about the Internet. ^_^
    – Robusto
    Nov 13, 2018 at 21:34
  • Apart from ‘relevant’. Because information is not inherently ‘useful’ or ‘unuseful’. It’s usefulness depends on the viewer, timing, and what they need it for.
    – Jelila
    Nov 13, 2018 at 22:38
  • @Jelila Hmmm, I'm not sure whether usefulness can be inherent in information. I'd be tempted to say "Smoking causes lung cancer" contains more inherently useful information than "The term for a group of finches is a charm."
    – Zebrafish
    Nov 13, 2018 at 23:21
  • That would depend on your perspective @Zebrafish. If you were a cigarette company, a doctor, or an individual, you might have a varying view on the usefulness of the statement that ‘smoking causes lung cancer’. If you are writing a novel that mentions finches, you’d find the latter statement more ‘relevant and useful’. Fascism is the activity of ‘deciding what is good, relevant, and useful’ for others. From, of course ‘one’s own limited perspective’. Without realising that other ‘points of view’ even exist, have relevance, or should exist. Fascism is... ignorance of other’s points of view.
    – Jelila
    Nov 13, 2018 at 23:33

1 Answer 1


‘Relevant’ is the word that can be used to describe ‘useful’ information on the internet. Because ‘usefulness’ is in the ‘eye of the beholder’. ‘Timely’ is also a related word because it indicates that the seeker can find the information needed ‘in a timely manner’.

Any attempt to categorise information into ‘useful’ or ‘not useful’ per se, would involve ‘one group of people who know they are right’ imposing their views on... everyone else. It isn’t possible to do that. This has been tried many times in history and has resulted in witch trials, book burnings, and the holocaust.

The authorities told people ‘what to believe’ during communism.

The idea of ‘useful information’ is based on ‘judgement’ without accepting that there are ‘points of view’.

Even activities such as ‘marking information as good and correct’ are entirely subjective. And can result for example in the ignorant ‘many’ marking a true piece of information as false while an Oxford Don, who knows the ‘true answer’ scratches his head in disbelief.

So one could say that there is ‘no such thing’ as inherently good or useful information. Nor is there a word for that. The usefulness of information is subjective and ‘in the eye of the beholder’. Discernment allows us to choose what to believe - or to choose - what is right for us personally to believe - in that moment.

In an expression form, on finding the perfect piece of information, one could say ‘that really hit the spot!’ Or ‘that was just what I needed to know!’ or ‘that information really met my needs’.

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