Lots of things have been contributing to me feeling “information overload” lately. I’m working hard on my dissertation right now so I don’t have a lot of time to “waste” keeping up with everything. As the election gets closer here in the US I’m also trying to get as much information as I can on candidates and what’s going on in the political scene. Couple that with all the various, and awesome, ways to get information these days and sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode. There’s online news, blogs, RSS, YouTube, Twitter, identi.ca, IM, and that ancient thing called email. The American people basically DoSed the House website on Monday and following trying to get at information.
So a few questions:
- How do you keep from getting overloaded with information?
- Would increased governmental transparency (i.e. citizens getting at the raw information rather than the filtered stuff you get on the news) be a good thing? or would we just get collective information overload?
- How can we, as “technologists”, balance innovation (new ways to generate and retrieve data) with helping people get just the data that they need and in such a way that they can keep their sanity? 🙂
Part of the problem with information overload is having so many sources. I for one feel like I’m getting technology-induced ADD. I’m doing work, watching Gwibber for the latest “dents” and “twits”, talking to 3 people on Jabber, watching the Yahoo news headlines, … It’s certainly not very productive, but how do we cut down on focus-snatching without losing “connection” with the world around us and the people we interact with?