What are we doing here?

The Information Overload Research Group. Quite a mouthful. So what is it all about? Well, the About Page has a good overview of what the group, this website, and this blog are all about.

But what are the members of this group doing here – and why?

I’ll start things off with a bit about myself and why I think this group is so important. I’m the CEO of ClearContext, a company that focuses on solutions to information overload. I started ClearContext for a number of the same reasons I got involved with IORG.

At my startup prior to ClearContext, I found myself spending more and more time simply responding to a never-ending stream of emails rather than actually working on interesting problems. And when I started talking to people about this, it became clear that this feeling was quite widespread – and growing.

Yet it’s a problem that is rarely addressed in a productive way. People tend to attack the problem in ways that simply do not scale. They block out more and more time, often cutting into what was previously personal time, to process this information in a timely manner. They add more and more devices to access information and stay connected longer and longer. But it’s a rat race they are destined to lose.

IORG consists of a group of people from a wide range of fields (academics, analysts, marketers, ISVs, etc.) who understand the need for new strategies, applications, interfaces, metaphors, algorithms, … – basically whole new ways of interacting with information in a world where the volume, frequency, and nature of information people have to deal with is fundamentally different than when the processes and tools most of us use today were developed.

It’s that type of attitude and willingness to rethink how people work with information that is needed to help people be successful in environments that bombard them with a constant deluge of information while still keeping a semblance of balance in their life. Being a part of that process is very fulfilling.

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