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.”
There’s information rushing at you from every imaginable portal, from that smartphone in your pocket to billboards along the highway. Indeed, every day some 300 billion emails are sent, 2 million blog posts are written, and more than 35 million apps are downloaded.
There’s enough information consumed on the Internet to fill 168 million DVDs –every single day. Add to that some 129 million books and counting in the world (at least according to Google’s last estimate), and calling it overload is an understatement. But according to Michel Koopman it’s just an opportunity for knowledge–if you know how to consume and leverage it.
According to statistics from WorldWideWebSize.com there are 7.39 billion pages on the internet and only 2,267,233,746 internet users. It is estimated that it would take one person 31,000 years to visit all sites available to them online without any sleep.
What would happen if you decided to become an expert in your chosen field? You would have to learn the information it takes to become that expert by reading information. We can’t just open a book and read it to become an expert. It takes at least four years of institutional studying, reading and due diligence. Or is there another way?
Have you lost your common sense with all the information attacking your head every day? While the normal person going about their daily work and life is bombarded by information, bloggers actually seek even more – making their brains resemble overstuffed furniture with wadding leaking out through the cracks in the Naugahyde.
Philipp Lenssen recently had a good post on tips on information overload by various people. It got me thinking about the various tips and tricks I’ve imbibed in the recent past and which work reasonably well for me. So I tried to collate them into one place.
This morning, AideRSS introduced an interesting tool that lets you filter your RSS feeds in Google Reader, flagging only those which have been deemed most important, thanks to criteria you set.
The concept behind a filter like this is to help you tackle information overload by showing a subset of your feeds, highlighting only those which have gained attention by others, through AideRSS’ unique approach, tabulating total number of comments, del.icio.us links, Google links, Diggs, etc.
CIO Jeff Saper drives a hybrid car, favors service providers that use alternative energy and has launched many green IT initiatives at his strategic communications firm, Robinson Lerer & Montgomery LLC in New York. But he’s also concerned about a type of pollution that even Al Gore has yet to tackle: digital pollution.
The recent growth of information sources such as blogs, social networks, news aggregators, microblogs like Twitter, instant messaging and e-mail has been exponential. And with broadband penetration among active Internet users expected to break 90% this year, according to Internet marketing firm Website Optimization LLC, there aren’t many people today who haven’t experienced some form of information overload.
We all have our routines for getting our daily doses of information. We check our e-mail for messages and newsletters. We visit our favorite Web sites. We tune in to electronic discussion groups. We might read a couple of newspapers. Then the snail mail hits the office, bringing magazines, brochures, advance sheets and a host of other information sources. And all of it is overwhelming.
“Information overload” is no longer a catchphrase. It has become an illness that leaves us feeling engulfed and falling farther behind with each new day. (more…)