Do you remember when you had to actually go somewhere, in order to do research on a new topic? Whether it was to a book store (because you wanted to buy and keep a source of knowledge) or just to the library, there were always a few options that were available to you when you wanted to learn something. Of course, nowadays the entire notion of actually leaving the house in order to research anything is kind of a ridiculous concept. After all, you do not even have to necessarily have a computer, in order to do research. Considering that there are services which you can employ from your smart phone which will tell you (completely free of charge) what the answer to any given problem might be, who needs to actually go anywhere? Of course, it does beg the question of whether the entire notion of traditional research can survive in this new era, with its entirely new paradigms in place.
On the one hand, there is always going to be a need to do some original research. No matter how many things are ported onto the Internet, at some point somebody had to actually record them from a series of observations. And just putting them on the Internet also implies that to some extent, there will always have to be people doing what we call researching. They may find themselves being a marginalized set of second class citizens, forced to do the information equivalent of pushing broom or scrubbing toilets, but at least this knowledge (the knowledge of knowledge, even) will not die out.
But on the other hand, our entire society is increasingly becoming dependent on second hand, third hand and (if such a thing exists) fourth hand information, which gets distilled just a little bit further with each new incarnation that it takes on. After all, the mutation of knowledge is a lot like the mutations which take place within a cell. It starts out subtley, and it continues onward until the newest thing is completely unrecognizable, which is sad when no one knows the difference.