Reducing Information Pollution

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Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World

May 4, 2018 | Posted By

Our mental effort or workload is reduced when a set of information items or chunks are delivered as a story. Indeed our ability to recall the content also is improved. A new book Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World by respected storyteller Robert McKee & Thomas Gerace (; Hatchett Book Group; March 2018) provides a field-tested approach to creating effective stories.

Decades ago, I (others also?) proposed that Information was defined as more than “data relevant to the task,” but also an effective representation or format to understand and communicate the information effectively. Stories provide an extremely effective frame for delivering information content. A number of software modeling applications, e.g., Tableau and IBM WATSON Analytics have built-in capability for creating storyboards. These are elements that are more than a PPT deck–a set of slides integrated by a common storyline having a captivating beginning, followed by valuable content, and often concluded with some “call to action.” If you have not tried storyboarding to reduce the mental processing effort by your audience, jump onto the storytelling bandwagon.

Broken Communication Across the Generation Gap

May 30, 2017 | Posted By

What was happening is something I often observe: the younger generations –Y and Z – use many new messaging channels that their Baby Boomer parents often don’t use at all – and vice versa.

Where the older folks are primarily email users, younger people are all about Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp and so on. But the problem isn’t just that that they don’t share a channel to communicate on. There are many interesting implications here…

How Digital Humanitarians Are Closing the Gaps In Worldwide Disaster Response

February 6, 2016 | Posted By

It is now commonplace for people around the world to use social media during emergencies, and the volume of online information coupled with its rapid arrival is becoming increasingly overwhelming to humanitarian organizations. In response, digital humanitarians (individuals who participate in humanitarian relief online) have organized into skilled teams online to decipher the signals from the noise and thus provide accurate data. These teams work in partnership with formal humanitarian organizations using digital forensics, mapmaking, data mining, curation and open dialogue. Communication is now considered a crucial part of aid, and social media is part of this toolset. Even so, privacy, power and access are just some of the complex challenges that digital humanitarians must navigate when using these platforms in their work to help communities in need.

The Tower of Babel of Digital Communication II: Language and Meaning

December 6, 2015 | Posted By

…following our previous coverage of the need of appropriate attention and recognition, the next two level specific challenges we will discuss are: 3) People identify something is being said but do not understand the language and 4) People understand the language but do not understand the meaning.

The Tower of Babel of Digital Communication I: Attention and Recognition

November 24, 2015 | Posted By

… it is essential for us to further understand the problem and why current solutions fail to address the issue in its entirety. The first two steps of effective email communication involve: 1) sending a message to a platform that receivers are paying attention to and 2) getting the receiver to recognize and open that message. Each one of these levels has its own specific challenge. – Part I of a series of posts about the causes of failed computer mediated communication.

Could a robot write this article?

October 9, 2015 | Posted By

Humans have feared the rise of machines since the 19th century, when textile workers known as the Luddites smashed the mechanical looms they thought would replace them.

Yes, machines have been replacing human workers for a very long time. Until recently it was manual laborers who had to worry about losing their jobs at factory or farm due to technological progress: robots can do many things humans can’t, more efficiently – and without complaint.

Active Listening and Communication

September 2, 2015 | Posted By

Listening is a critical part of communication. It is an activity many people take for granted yet perform quite poorly. Active listening can help greatly improve your communication with others.

Smartphones Overstate Their Social Intelligence

August 14, 2014 | Posted By

When a smartphone app wants to alert you to a coming appointment, a text message or some bit of breaking news from your social network, it sends a tiny flare that lights up your phone’s lock screen. Depending on how you’ve set it up, the app might then buzz your pocket like a manic bee, sound a citywide panic alarm or begin playing “La Cucaracha.”

For Workers, Less Flexible Companies

May 27, 2014 | Posted By

He calls it one of the bright spots of his week: Before Jared Dalton, 32, starts his workday as a manager at Ernst & Young, the big accounting firm, he dresses his 5-month-old daughter, Olivia, and then places her on her tummy to play. Since he works from home on Mondays and Tuesdays, he can spend an extra hour with Olivia and an extra hour working — time that would otherwise be lost commuting into Manhattan.

The Science of Older and Wiser

March 19, 2014 | Posted By

Since ancient times, the elusive concept of wisdom has figured prominently in philosophical and religious texts. The question remains compelling: What is wisdom, and how does it play out in individual lives? Most psychologists agree that if you define wisdom as maintaining positive well-being and kindness in the face of challenges, it is one of the most important qualities one can possess to age successfully — and to face physical decline and death.

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