Reducing Information Pollution

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Nathan Zeldes

Libraries and Knowledge in an Age of Information Overload

December 13, 2017 | Posted By

Last month I gave an invited keynote lecture at the XV International Conference on University Libraries at UNAM, the national university of Mexico. The conference theme was how libraries can face the challenges of the coming years, when infinite knowledge is available to anyone at the swipe of a smartphone screen, and continue to provide value to their users and to society; my keynote was to address the phenomenon of information overload and its repercussions for both libraries and users.

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…

Nathan Zeldes interviewed on Information Overload

June 6, 2016 | Posted By

Podcast Interview of Nathan Zeldes discussing Information Overload

When Cultures Clash: Open Door Policy vs. Information Overload

May 8, 2016 | Posted By

The causes of Information Overload are always tightly intertwined with organizational culture, so it is small wonder that solving the first requires messing with the second.

Effects of Information Overload, #3: Degraded Work Processes

April 17, 2016 | Posted By

No man is an island, and these workers form part of teams and organizations. Information overload has started to play havoc with organizational processes in the nineties, and by now we’re so used to this that we barely remember the cause as we live with effects that we simply take for granted. Below I investigate how information overload is breaking vital processes in practically all knowledge‐based organizations.

How You Can Deploy “Quiet Time” to Increase Your Group’s Productivity

January 29, 2013 | Posted By

Quiet Time in the information overload context is the conscious act of securing isolation from interruptions for at least hours at a time, in order to enable your mind to concentrate and excel. I’m not talking about occasional time out; this is about a structured, recurrent, pre-scheduled sequence of quiet intervals, week after week.

Effects of Information Overload, #4: Quality of Life Impact

December 31, 2012 | Posted By

This last article in the series addresses an impact of Information Overload that victimizes the individual knowledge worker directly, although the damage inevitably extends to the organization employing this individual. This is the degradation of the employee’s quality of life.

Effects of Information Overload, #3: Degraded Work Processes

December 6, 2012 | Posted By

Information overload has started to play havoc with organizational processes in the nineties, and by now we’re so used to this that we barely remember the cause as we live with effects that we simply take for granted. Below I investigate how information overload is breaking vital processes in practically all knowledge‐based organizations.

Effects of Information Overload, #2: Cognitive Disability

October 31, 2012 | Posted By

If time loss is the most obvious way that Information Overload affects organizational effectiveness, the destruction of mental acuity is the least obvious one. It is also probably the worst, in terms of actual damage to the bottom line. What we’re talking about here is a reduction in a wide range of mental capacities, all of them highly relevant to the performance of knowledge work.

Effects of Information Overload, #1: Time Loss

October 2, 2012 | Posted By

We know that Information Overload costs knowledge workers around one day a week, but few people understand where this figure is coming from, how it was measured, and what the underlying time-waste mechanisms are.


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