Information overload has thress main causes : the first is information dispersal among too many tools which force people to continuously switch from one to another in order to be sure not miss anything, the second is the fact people are affected by the information flow that fall on them as is they were at the bottom of the waterfall, forcing them to continuously sort and establish priorities without forgotting the time needed to refocus after interuptions, the third is the gap between the information people receive according to what others want them to known and the information people really need and spend a lot of time to find.
Sometimes I dream of seing within companies what we have on the net : millions of information sources which contents go “on the cloud” through RSSS feeds and APIs and are gathered in a sort of “common base” from which, according to searchs on people, tags, plain text…I extract feeds that really interest me in order to read them in an unique tools, according to my priorities, to the time at my disposal, mastering what I read instead of being bombarded with messages.
To illustrate this point I often the comparison between being under a waterfall and having a shower with multiple jets massaging me. Instead of experiencing the violence of an unique and uncontroled flow, I set every jet direction and power and comfort replaces pain.
It implies companies open their eyes, think about the notion of information flow (vs stock), governance and think in terms of marketplaces and personal information supply chain rather than in termes of massive and inefficiant spraying.
For those who are interested in that and would like to get more on these issues, I advise to have a look at Stowe Boy’s keynote at the next Web 2.0 expo, â€œBetter Media Plumbing for the Social Webâ€ in order to become more familiar with these new logics and issues and begin to wonder about new ways to live out information and transform the way people will exchange and interact in the upcoming years.
It’s not conceivable that two worlds will co-exist : the general public’s and the enterprise’s (which is made of the same people), with two radically different conceptions of information flows, separated by a will. And it’s not conceivable either that those who live in one side of the wall forget in a second what they are and the way they behave when they are at home, on the other side of the wall.
Otherwise, if you wish to attend the Web 2.0 expo, you can get a discount code here.