Metaweb Technologies last week announced that it received a $42.5 million investment led by Goldman Sachs Co. Metaweb, based in San Francisco, is currently building, an open, shared database in which data is freely accessible to users across the globe.

Metaweb's goal is to enable people to access information more quickly and easily than is currently possible. For the company to receive this funding is a big coup for Metaweb. It provides the company confirmation that its vision is a promising one that needs to be further explored and developed.

That vision of having a database of information freely available to users around the globe will certainly be beneficial to those information seekers. But it will be interesting to see what affect this will have on database publishers and other information publishers. The entire information industry needs to keep a close eye on Metaweb's progress; and at the same time, must continue to communicate the value of its own products.