Reducing Information Pollution
In the beginning there was Email Overload. Then RSS feeds arrived on the scene, and at first they looked like an interesting alternative to email as a way for getting information to people. They had that “pull mode” aspect – you could subscribe only to feeds you needed, unlike email that gets pushed at you by other people. Of course email was still necessary for one on one communication, but RSS could replace the “blast” email newsletters and such one to many comms.
Then it became evident that there are countless feeds from blogs and web sites to choose from; before long some people had hundreds of feed subscriptions (a friend of mine had 1200!), and it seemed like the same overload would hit us all over again. For my part I doubted this; my thinking is that there’s a crucial difference: Email queues up in the Inbox with the implicit expectation that one must read it all; with RSS feeds, you can choose what to read and what to skip, and you needn’t feel bad about the skipping. Certainly I don’t.
Still, one reads of people viewing RSS as a burden, so I’d like to hear from you: what do you feel? Is RSS prone to adding to overload – for yourself, and in general? And if so, how do you cope with it?
IORG hosted a webinar “Overcoming Information Overload” on December 13th, 2016 that brought together interesting and diverse thinkers to share their views and research.News Archive
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