Thursday, 3rd April 2008
It was an interesting discussion thread at a Google group around emerging communications http://digbig.com/4wqra which started with mentioning a BBC article titled "E-mail is ruining my life!" In a TechCrunch post http://digbig.com/4wqsg the author says he "routinely declare email bankruptcy and simply delete my entire inbox."
That kind of blunt solutions wouldn't be applicable to many others. Rather, we need more common sense practices. A new article offers some "expert tips to guard against e-mail overload" http://digbig.com/4wqyw. Techniques like not carbon-copying your email unless it's really necessary and using folders to get better organized are not new, but sometimes it helps to be reminded again and again.
Actually email is not the only problem of information overload. It seems that when we talk about information overload, it is likely that we don't all refer to the same thing. Each of us have our own unique tag cloud http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_cloud associated with information overload. For some, the most weighted is indeed the thousands of unread messages in the email inbox. For others it is the never-caught-up interesting RSS feeds or documents saved to be read. For those always in the multi-tasking mode, it may be the hundreds of open ends linked to work-in-progress projects. And moms and dads strive not to be left too far behind the cool stuff the next generation is up to.
There are many problems around information overload that can be defined in many ways. Solutions and advice are abundant. All-in-one applications like Twine http://digbig.com/4wqsc aim for using the latest technologies to help ease the problems; and keep-simple-things-simple tools like BackPack www.backpackit.com are useful to pull the loose ends together and make us feel in better control of things.
With ever more free information available, coping with information overload is becoming ever more important. We can use information to create new things and solve old problems only if we stay productive.
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