A compilation of causes and solutions to the misuse and abuse of the notorious Reply to All feature.
Reply to All: probably the most hated feature of Email. How do I know? Because whenever I work with clients to reduce Email Overload, one request pops up right at the beginning: “Can we put a stop to the abuse of Reply All?” Yes, you can.
You can see it on Twitter every day, a year and a half after he coined it: Clay Shirky’s famous Filter failure meme; “It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure”.
It’s catchy. It’s thought-provoking. And yet, I believe, it’s also misleading.
Although practically every organization is full of knowledge workers groaning under a deluge of email, it’s interesting to note that in many of them I run into a small minority of people who have things under control.
Throughout the Defense Department and the federal government, the inefficient and undisciplined use of technology by the very people technology was supposed to benefit is degrading the quality of decision-making and hobbling the cognitive dimension of the information environment.
A blog by Nathan Zeldes, focused on insight, debate and solutions for restoring productivity and work/life balance in this age of infoglut.
A recent report, commissioned by Hitachi Data Systems, found 40 per cent of companies in Australia and New Zealand are suffering from the information glut, up from 34 per cent two years ago.
I was discussing with a college student I’ve been advising whether it was a good or a bad thing that Google makes access to answers so easy. To my surprise, she opined that it’s a bad thing – because people who use Google to answer a question are more likely to forget the answer they find, whereas if they have to think the problem through and discover the answer for themselves they will remember it in the long term. This shows that our ambivalence to information use goes back to antiquity…
Almost all executives want more and faster information, and almost all companies are racing to provide it. What many of them overlook, though, is that the real aim should be not faster information but faster decision making — and those aren’t the same things.
If you believe information overload is a maladaptation than solutions – fancy and detailed as they may be – really just boil down to resisting destructive urges. . . . But if, by chance, information overload is within the realm of consciousness and under rational control, different solutions apply.