Herbert Simon (deceased) offered this insight: “Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” You have this power if you are disciplined. Linda Stone (https://lindastone.net/2014/02/05/our-powerful-and-fragile-attention/) shared: “If we don’t consciously choose where we want to direct our attention, there will always […]
Difficult information access can result in IO. A study by Teleware (teleware.com) in UK of 2K employees distributed across industries, gender, age disclosed significant frustration from misplacing captured information. Impacts: 720 wasted time, 680 forgot captured information both resulting in reduced task effectiveness. Indeed 520 reported missing deadlines. Only 40% have a routine process to capture, record and retrieve desired […]
The Brieflab [https://thebrieflab.com] issues a brief report: Tuning In, Tuning Out: How Technology has become Our New Noise. From their survey of 1119 professionals, 60% stated that at least 1/2 of their emails are useless. These same persons said these e-mails were a hindrance to attention discovered that devoting more time in the day for quiet, uninterrupted activity improved productivity. […]
A problem with email is that it has evolved to become a catch-all accepting numerous kinds of messages, many of them far removed from its original intent to serve one to one communications. One kind of message that is hiding in our inbox but is not really a part of the real email paradigm is newsletters and updates from blogs […]
As a contribution to Mental Health Awareness Week, IORG steering team members Dr Monica Seeley and Annie McGhee-Stinson discuss stress and info overload in an interview with IORG’s Lele Terenzani.
IORG focuses on information overload in the “office” space, but there are many other kinds of IO out there. Here I want to mention the problems seen in the medical profession, which has the distinction that when information in it runs wild, people die. There are a number of distinct mechanisms involved: The interaction of the doctor with the patient […]
A student of mine once did a little research project to check what features of Gmail people were using. Her findings: he great majority of users were only using it to read, compose, forward, reply and delete. All the wonderful advanced features that could make them a great deal more productive were unused and unknown to them. They never bothered […]
In his latest book, Digital Minimalism, technology and productivity expert Cal Newport offers advice on how to free yourself from the tyranny of email, social media, and other digital services. Cal Newport is a Computer Science professor at Georgetown University who has written two books about how to Focus in an ever-increasingly noise-filled world; Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in […]
We all know that there is a HUGE amount of data being created and put online, but many of us fail to grasp the true size, scale and scope of the amount of data that is being created. Here are some numbers to try to put things in perspective… Currently, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day […]
According to the latest Nielsen Survey, the average American adult spends close to 3 hours a day looking at their smartphone or tablet computer. According to the first-quarter 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report, nearly half of an adult’s day is spent viewing some sort of “online media content, with close to 3 hours a day spent looking at smartphones and tablet […]
We are happy to announce that the sixth episode of IORGcast has been posted on the IORG YouTube Channel. In this video, Lele Terenzani talks with Nathan Zeldes about “The History of Computing“. Lele is an IORG Steering Team Member and a Digital Sales Communication Leader, IBM. Nathan is the President of IORG and a Productivity Business Consultant. Nathan, […]
In our second IORG Podcast, hear an interview with Dr. Lawrence Ampofo about Digital Mindfullness. Today we speak to Dr.Lawrence Ampofo. Lawrence is a digital strategy and foreign policy professional and founder and Director of Digital Mindfulness and Semantica Research with over a decade of experience in several topics that circle around information overload. We talk of course about digital mindfulness, […]
In our first IORG Podcast, hear an interview about the start of IORG and about Information Overload Solutions with IORG founder, Nathan Zeldes. With Nathan we talk about his past when he firstly noticed there was a problem with Information Overload and some of the solutions and experiments he applied to this problem. We also talk about trust, leadership, being […]
We are happy to announce that the fifth episode of IORGcast has been posted on the IORG YouTube Channel. In this video, Lele Terenzani talks with Alfonso Aranda Arias about going “Beyond Email“. Lele is an IORG Steering Team Member and a Digital Sales Communication Leader, IBM. Alfonso is an IORG steering committee member and Microsoft Project Manager. Key Topics […]
We need to consider how Information Overload can help impact and drive the development of Visual Dashboards, and how cognitive and data visualization techniques can help guide their design. As background, there are three main types of working memory: Intrinsic This refers to the complexity of the material being presented and its effect on cognitive load. Extraneous This refers to […]
Information Overload (IO) is typically associated with processing input from external sources, such as Email and Search Engine results. However, Information Overload can also occur when retrieving information from our memory. The “cue” used for information retrieval may be associated with multiple items in our long-term memory. Specificity of encoding information to be stored will reduce this risk. Matthew Guyan […]
To all people that work, no matter what’s the work, we all need in massive amount to communicate. To understand what we do to talk to peers to share what we do to learn about what has to be done to understand from the environment how to do it and the list could continue for several pages. Alone we are […]
As IORG Social Media Chair, for the past four weeks my theme has been whether or not email overload will still be a problem in 2019 and if so how to reduce it. Clearly, there are now multiple excellent other ways to communicate electronically from instant messaging via Skype for Business or What’s App to sophisticated collaborative tools like Slack […]
Following is a Recap of the key topics and discussion points from the Information Overload Day Webinar held on October 23rd, sponsored by IORG. On October 22, 2018, the Information Overload Research Group held its annual “Information Overload Day” This years’ session was entitled “Cognitive Science, Addiction, and Information Overload”. Following is a summary of key points from all the […]
Thank you to everyone that attended the Information Overload Day Webinar on October 23rd. It was a great session with many interesting presentations and some good discussions. We are working to get copies of the presenters’ materials, and will post it to our IORG site as soon as we have them available. If you were unable to attend the webinar, […]
Our search of gathered and stored content in our digital storage devices may be aided by secondary keys; yet the basic architecture is rows and columns unless you have a semantic storage system. The advent of knowledge graphs (commercially available) can transform your storage taxonomy into a folksonomy–saving time and overload of retrieved contents. Pruning our retrieval hits from external […]
We tend to focus or prioritize our time on URGENT tasks without necessarily considering the importance of each task. A variety of individuals have offered suggestions to reduce this bias. Alice Boyes in a Harvard Business Review article proposed prioritizing tasks in consideration of your longer-term goals or “big picture.” The Eisenhower Approach provides a 4 quadrant matrix for classifying your tasks. […]
As shared last week, FOMO can lead to addictive checking of all your social and work media channels resulting in increased stress and decreased productivity. Dr. Axe provides a five-step process for decreasing cell phone addiction. Could also be applicable to e-mail inbox addiction. Real-time messaging certainly has some benefits, e.g., alerts for traffic congestion, a loved one in trouble, […]
The following is an excerpt written by Yury Gubman, Knowmail’s Head of AI, from a recent IORG interview between Emanuele Terenzani (Lele), Yury, and myself about the need to use Artificial Intelligence to solve Information Overload. The interview can be viewed below in its entirety, while the excerpt provides a few additional notes not available in the video. To learn […]
FOMO or Fear of Missing Out has become a national disease that impacts our personal and work lives. Addiction to frequently checking our e-mail, Twitter, Instagram, etc. accounts singularly or overall diminishes time spent on work tasks and family activities. Aysel Safarova @ chanty.com has an interesting blog post (3/17) discussing the impact of FOMO on worker productivity. If you […]
The relationship of Email upon leaders Have you ever stopped to think about the impact that Managers’ emails have on the workforce? Emails sent by senior staff can inspire, engage and motivate.
Recently at Emailogic we had the opportunity to take part in an academic study to have email training tested for its effectiveness on productivity and well-being. Busy senior service managers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London UK all agreed that email overload was an issue needing attention. 100 of these senior managers attended an email best practice training course.
OVERLOAD – IS IT HARMING US?: BY M.MANN -EMAILOGIC Is your reliance on email affecting your health? The US technology consultant Linda Stone has discovered that many of us unconsciously hold our breath, or breathe shallowly while responding to emails – a habit that can compound stress. This can then add fuel to a host of other symptoms such as […]
Nick Ingram (July 2016) states the known: more signal, less noise. He also proposes that old information “stands the test of time” is more useful than new information. Yet isn’t new information more actionable? This proposal plus reducing social media input certainly could help reduce IO; yet current, relevant inputs should not be disregarded. His website clearthinking.co does have some interesting and […]
After conducting 1500 interviews with clinicians, a complex rules set was developed to filter out “meaningless data” and create visualizations to focus attention on critical information elements. This is an amazing remedy for abundant clinical information communicated real-time for patient care. Worth your quick read: How the Mayo Clinic is combating information overload in critical care units Marty B #IORGforum
During May 2018, Nathan Zeldes (President) described the mission and benefits provided from IORG. Each month IORG will present a Steering Committee member or other individuals addressing challenging issues and potential solutions to IO. IORG homepage and social media will provide specific details for forthcoming webinars. Stay tuned!
Daniel Levitan’s book: The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload (Dutton/Penguin 2014) describes in Chapters 2 & 3 how the mental processes for encoding, organizing and retrieving accepted information can increase or decrease your cognitive load for information processing. The content is more than replacing a formal taxonomy with your personal folksonomy. Fascinating read. Marty B. #IORGforum
One definition of information is the degree of uncertainty reduction. How much information do you need to gather to achieve an acceptable confidence level that you have sufficient information to make a judgment or decision? Herb Simon made a distinction between optimization and satisfaction. Similarly, an inverted U curve for amount of information gathered suggests that too much information creates an excessive […]
It’s the last day of IORGLiveMonth today, a great experience for me, one month where I could look into Information Overload and having to talk about it connected several dots, opened my mind to some of the little details that matter, some of the little behavioral patterns that we all do and observe, that start in good will but eventually […]
The third week passed and I knew it would bring some controversial topics and new perspectives on what can cause information overload and how to reduce it. Once we recognize the existence of information overload and we attribute to it several unpleasant consequences like stress, lack of focus, time waste, low productivity, miscommunication, bad collaboration…, we cannot avoid to focus on […]
The second week of #IORGLiveMonth just finished a great journey for me so far in sharing my experiences and reflections with all of you and at the same time building a video library or hints and tips that will be accessible by everyone for the time to come. I don’t expect to bring absolute truths or solutions on the table […]
In the first week of IORGLiveMonth that you can watch here http://bit.ly/iorglivemonth from Day 1 to 7 you can see as common denominator one basic concept: e-mail is not anymore a necessary tool to do our job. On the contrary, learning to collaborate using other channels will definitively help us becoming more productive, spending less time and drastically reducing information […]
It’s been a while I’m not using e-mails, 5 years since July 2013 and even before I started gladly advocating different forms of collaboration to avoid overused channels. That’s where I got to meet IORG, Nathan Zeldes and all great professionals and researchers that with me share the same disappointment around the way we naturally ended up communicating between each […]
When I started working on mitigating Information Overload at Intel, back in the mid-90s, it was all about email overload, and the solutions we worked on then were all about how to send less and better email, sort and process incoming email faster and more sensibly, and – once we figured out the underlying cultural causes – improving norms and […]
Recently I was invited to give a keynote lecture at the XV International Conference on University Libraries in Mexico City last month. The conference was dedicated to the changing role of university libraries, and their place in the United Nations’ “Agenda 2030” program. My lecture, titled “Libraries and Knowledge in the Age of Information Overload”, took a close look at […]
We can learn a lot from history… even in the field of Information Overload and Meeting Culture. Consider this true story, quoted as is from Plutarch, about a spicy event in the senate of ancient Rome:
The Information Overload Research Group’s steering committee has identified social media as a key component of the group’s activity, and has made decisions accordingly. Starting this February, IORG will maintain a much higher level of activity on all its social channels. This includes the following channels, which you are invited and encouraged to join, follow, and so forth: The IORG […]
Effective January 2018 the LinkedIn group Information Overload Network has been renamed to Information Overload Research Group. This reflects the de facto situation where ION has been nurtured for the last few years by the directors of the off-LinkedIn IORG non-profit, and will allow us to focus the people and activities related to Information Overload mitigation under one coherent “umbrella”. […]
IORG, in celebration of Information Overload Day, recently hosted “Overloaded 2017 – An online event of Science, Stories, and Solutions for Managing Information Overload“. The entire event has been recorded for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy!
The Information Overload Research Group presents: Overloaded 2017 An online event of Science, Stories, and Solutions for Managing Information Overload When: October 17th, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00pm EST For this year’s “Information Overload Day” on October 17th, the Information Overload Research Group is sponsoring an online Webinar featuring speakers from IBM, Knowmail, and several leading practitioners in the fields of productivity, […]
The Information Overload Research Group presents: Overloaded 2017 An online event of Science, Stories, and Solutions for Managing Information Overload When: October 17th, 2017. Where: Online – details coming soon. Work is not what it used to be. Between the constant rings and pings of notifications, and the fear of missing out (FOMO) that follows, information overload is threatening our […]
A webinar lecture held at IBM. Enjoy!
The Spaghetti Project and IORG present: Overloaded 2017 A Day of Science, Stories, and Solutions for Managing Information Overload Save the Date! When: October 17th, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Where: 250 West 55th Street, 37th Floor, New York, NY • 10019 Price: Early Bird $199. Regular $249 Work is not what it used to be. Between the constant […]
IORG hosted a webinar “Overcoming Information Overload” on December 13th, 2016 that brought together interesting and diverse thinkers to share their views and research.
The Information Overload Research Group (IORG) will host on Tuesday, Dec 13th 2016 at 11:00 AM EST a free 60 minute online webinar devoted to overcoming Information Overload.
Information Overload Day 2016 takes place on October 18th, and is a good time to take action to reduce the impact of Information Overload on your work and life.
The problem of “overflow” is not a simple, linear issue of environmental abundance, of a flood of digital, easily multiplicable information, but instead needs to be analysed on a finer level, taking into account interaction of external, environmental conditions and personal traits. This area of research, pursued for many years by one of the keynote presenters, prof. Grażyna Wieczorkowska-Wierzbińska, will be highlighted at the “Managing Overflow” conference, organized in September this year by our team from the Department of Managerial Psychology and Sociology at the University of Warsaw (http://overflowconference.pl). The event will gather in Poland a group of top scientists researching the topic of overflow: prof. Barbara Czarniawska, prof. Orvar Lofgren, Sabina Siebert, prof. Wieczorkowska-Wierzbińska, and others.
The Information Overload Research Group is seeking organizations wishing to partner with us in pursuing our mission of reducing Information Overload.
What a great Information Overload Awareness Day we had this year, thanks to our two speakers, Yoram Kalman and Francis Wade, and special presentation from board member Jonathan Spira. The insights and discussions during our webinar were certainly food for thought. Our speakers have graciously accepted to make their slides available as well.
Information Overload Awareness Day 2015 is a workplace observance, now in its eighth year, that calls attention to the problem of information overload and how it impacts both individuals and organizations. There is a free Webinar being held on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 11:00 am EST. Register now !!!
“Tame the Overload” is the theme of Information Overload Day on Oct. 21. This year’s event includes a free 90-minute webinar at 11 a.m. EDT featuring speakers from Microsoft, Yahoo, and Knowmail, and hosted by Jonathan Spira, one of the leading experts in the field and author of “Overload! How Too Much Information Is Hazardous To Your Organization.”
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We are pleased to announce that Overloaded 2014, the premier conference for information overload, will be held on June 7, 2014 at the pariSOMA lounge in San Francisco, CA. All who are interested in the problem of information overload, whether in industry, academia, the startup world, or as an affected individual, are welcome and encouraged to attend.
IORG celebrated Information Overload Day 2013 on Oct. 21 with a Webinar that brought together interesting and diverse thinkers to share their views and research.
A new repository of articles and research related to Information Overload is now available at Information Overload Resource Center. The web site was created by the Information Overload Research Group—a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 to facilitate and share solutions to the growing information glut. You are welcome to add pointers to IO related resources. Go to the above URL, […]
The Information Overload Research Group’s Overloaded 2012 un-conference, a lively one-day gathering of information overload crusaders from a diversity of domains, was a complete success. Two dozen attendees spanning academic, industry, consulting, analyst and public sector backgrounds came together, exchanged research results, viewpoints and opinions, and formed friendships and plans for future cooperation. We heard two interesting keynotes: Prof. David […]
The Information Overload Research Group is excited to announce Overloaded 2012, a private one-day gathering amongst those who are leading the battle against information overload from a diversity of domains such as business, academia, technology, journalism, psychology, and research. If you share this interest, we’d love your attendance in San Francisco on Feb. 25, 2012. At this one-day […]
On June 27, 2011, IORG hosted five authors of books about Information Overload for a fascinating “Literary Salon” online event, where they discussed their reasons for writing their books and the issues and solutions that they find most significant. The authors are Dave Crenshaw (author of The Myth of Multitasking), Daniel Forrester (author of Consider), Maggie Jackson (author of Distracted), […]
The New York Post recently cited IORG in an insightful article about information overload and a sidebar focused on fixing the problem. In “Going Under: Information overload is drowning office workers,” author Chris Erikson paints an accurate picture of the typical information worker who’s being “interrupted and over-informed to death.” Quoted within the article, IORG VP of Research Jonathan Spira […]
I’ve been engaged in the battle on Information Overload since 1995, when it exploded across Intel – where I was Computing Productivity manager at the time – with the now familiar devastation to people’s effectiveness and quality of life. In the 15 years since then I’ve driven a variety of solution efforts at various companies; I’ve communicated with scores of […]
From Ian Price: On Tuesday, I was invited to be part of the expert panel discussion that launched the three-day summit on Information Overload run by v3.co.uk (previously known us vnnunet). Given the nature of the audience, the summit as a whole has a technical emphasis and is sponsored by IBM. Having said that, there was a willingness on the […]
From Ian Price: The issue of information overload is getting increasing media coverage in the UK although it is still some way behind the US. Next week, V3.co.uk (formerly vnu.net), part of Incisive Media, is taking the lead by hosting a three-day summit. It is opening the event with a live web TV panel discussion on Tuesday November 10th at […]
When I tell friends and colleagues that I’m on the board of the Information Overload Research Group – “You know, that organization that got started on the Microsoft campus a couple of years ago” – they often say something like, “That sounds interesting. So what does IORG do?”
Our friends at Basex have been talking to people about Info Overload for a long time, but for some months now they had the excellent idea of capturing what senior managers had to say about it on video. The outcome is a video that interviews execs in companies including IBM, NBC, RIM, and Siemens, who share their insights about the […]
I was looking at the interesting web site of Canadian SciFi author Robert J. Sawyer and found an article in which he discusses Multitasking, and views it quite positively. In fact he says “The complaints about multitasking are the last gasps of the couch-potato generation” – the new, “wired” generation will practice multitasking to great advantage.
A friend pointed out an interesting patent application from IBM. The proposed system allows one to send people a calendar meeting invite that specifies no distractions are allowed during the meeting (an “exclusive attendance event”); after the attendee accepts, their computer will automatically suspend non-event related activities while the meeting is in progress. There are some additional refinements, but basically […]
One of our members sent a pointer to this article on TechCrunch. Apparently, the Nielsen Media Research’s management had taken action to remove the Reply to All button from the interface of all its 35,000 employees’ email clients, as part of a drive to eliminate bureaucracy and inefficiency. It is fascinating to read the comments to the post. As my […]
A year ago, Basex announced that Information Overload would be the 2008 “Problem-of-the-Year.” Now that we know that Information Overload costs the U.S. economy a minimum of $900 billion per year, it appears that it will be 2009’s problem as well. Whether sitting at a desk in the office, in a conference room, in one’s home office, or at a […]
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 […]
By IORG member Nitin Badjatia While we often think of the productivity loss of information overload from an individual perspective, aggregating the impact of lost productivity across a large group can lead to some astounding realizations. An example of this in the call center environment. Over the last few years, I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing and observing process […]
We all know those meetings where everyone is “doing email”; we know that this affects the attendees’ hearing – nobody listens. But there are cases where it also affects their speech, as transmitted to other attendees in a different location. To see how, check this post on Commonsense Design, my other blog.
The other day I gave a lecture about Information Overload at a technology conference. Afterward a number of attendees approached me to discuss it. I asked one of them – himself employed at a technology company – whether the extent of the problem in his workplace was as bad as I described it in general, and he asserted that it […]
I can’t remember where I heard the EOM technique originally, though I was certainly teaching it widely at Intel as early as 1999, and it was published externally in 2001 as an “Intel Email commandment”. The idea is simple: When possible, send a message that is only a subject line, so recipients don’t have to open the email to read […]
IORG is a young organization, and we on its board of directors – Bill, Deva, Jonathan, Yoram and yours truly – are working hard to define the future course of action the organization should embark on in the next year or so. We have our ideas, but I’d like to hear yours. So – let us know, in the comments […]
The breakdown of the nation’s financial industry plus recent events in financial markets worldwide have made me wonder about the role of information overload in the current financial crisis. Headlines have made it painfully clear that financial institutions were unsure of their assets and liabilities. Usually, this would be attributed to an inadequacy of available information but that’s far from […]
An observation: most of my best ideas come to me during business trips. Ideas that then lead to major projects or products, ideas that are worth a lot – they tend to materialize in a plane, or behind the wheel of a rental car, or in a hotel room far from home. In fact, this is not just me – […]
IORG isn’t the only group of people interested in the problem of information overload. Here’s a glimpse at some of the other stuff going on in the IO world. On the academic side, a workshop on enhanced messaging was held at AAAI 2008 with a bunch of interesting presentations. In the media, there have been a flurry of articles revolving […]
Our Information Overload conference no doubt pushed attendees above and beyond the bounds of overload. As a public service here (as Tom Lehrer would say), I’ll review highlights. Keynote The keynote address (mine, actually) presented an overview of the problem, including costs, problem areas, and a few things we can do about the problem right now.
An interesting article in the BBC News magazine recently afforded us a rare glimpse into the problem as seen from the perspective of two politicians – no less than Barack Obama and British opposition leader David Cameron. Personally I always thought that senior leaders of nations have licked Information Overload. After all, one can’t imagine that the President of the […]
With the Information Overload Research Group launched and our first conference underway, it’s about time to get started with our blog. We’ll be using this blog to provide updates on IORG progress and activities, share our thoughts about various information overload related topics, and provide opportunities for IORG members to share their own experience, research, and opinions.
In an article called “Information Overload is Killing You and Your Productivity,” CIO.com’s Thomas Wailgum cites a new report from The Burton Group. It says information overload has ramped up in IT organizations — with predictable effects. Says Wailgum: “The cumulative response from the CIO community to all of this info-insanity is: ‘Stop the world! I need to get off!’” […]
(By Jonathan Spira) Despite the fact that there are 56 million of us out there, people continue to struggle both with the definition of a knowledge worker as well as with self-identification. If we are going to solve the problems of the knowledge economy, such as Information Overload, we need to be more comfortable with the concept of knowledge work. […]
So, again… writing a first post to a new blog. Small step and all that, but it’s really the quintessential “new beginning”… First I’m supposed to tell you who I am, so here goes: I’m Nathan Zeldes, an Applied Physicist turned IT Engineer. I’m a Principal Engineer at Intel, and for the past 12 years I’ve been driving R&D in […]
Instant messaging tools like AIM or ICQ allow users to text each other in real time, and to exchange quick messages. Can you imagine something more disruptive than a text message that appears on your screen while you are trying to concentrate? Well, a recent paper by Garrett & Danziger (http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/garrett.html) will make you think again. The paper, published in […]
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?