Study explodes the myth of Internet-based information overload

the information overload mythListen to enough hysterical warnings and dire forecasts and you’d think that information overload is leading us to some kind of bleak, post-apocalyptic future. In an Advertising Age column he wrote back in 2007, Edelman Senior VP Steve Rubel said, “A crash is coming, folks. But this time it’s not financial—it’s personal.” The attention crisis, he said, is an epidemic. “There’s no more room at the inn. People will cut back.”

Outlets ranging from The New York Times to Lifehack.org have addressed the consequences of too much online information. Personally, I’ve never bought it. More than a decade ago, I argued that people can stand all… Read More »

Cures for David Murray’s attention crash

A few weeks back, my friend David Murray singled me out in a post to his “Writing Boots” blog in which he complained about the stress that social media is causing him. David and I go way back and he’s hoping I have answers for him to ease his frustrations:

I’m over-friggin’ whelmed with the stuff, constantly scrambling from Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn, round and round, at once amused to have so many going projects but never satisfied that I’m doing enough to promote myself or my projects, via all these online contraptions.

In more colloquial terms, David addresses the “Attention Crash” Steve Rubel insists is headed everyone’s… Read More »

What are you willing to barter in exchange for content?

Back in 1984, Stewart Brand uttered the words that have become the slogan of the free content movement: “Information wants to be free.”

Those who advocate free content, however, are taking Brand’s statement out of context. At the first Hacker’s conference where he made the statement, he was talking about the tension between the value of content and the vanishing cost associated with distributing it. Here’s what he actually said:

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost…

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Why there will be no attention crash

Shel HoltzThe Motrin incident (USA Today article)  that unfolded over the weekend reinforces a fundamental dimension of the entire social media phenomenon: If people care enough about something, they’ll make the time to engage in the communities and conversations where people are talking about it.

This is nothing unique to social media. A typical person, in addition to the hours he or she devotes to work, will hit the links for 18 holes with friends, get out to a PTA meeting, go to church on Sunday, attend a neighborhood activist meeting, take a night class, attend a chapter meeting of their professional association, chat with family on the… Read More »

Tagged! How I keep track of most of it

Mitch Joel has tagged me (and several others) after responding to a query from Kevin Behringer, author of the Fly-Over Marketing blog. Here’s Kevin’s question:

How do you manage it all?!?

You read a lot of books, blogs, etc. How do you record it all or track it to actually use it? One of the things I’m struggling with right now.”

The easy answer is that I don’t manage it all. Undoubtedly, stuff falls through the cracks. I’m not aware that I’m letting them fall untilI try to recall them later and can’t find them archived anywhere. As a result, I either spend too much time tracking them down or just give up.

That’s the exception,… Read More »

My new link blog and a request

Having subscribed to several for years, I’ve finally started my own link blog. It was reading Nick Bradbury’s post on attention that finally got me off my ass. Nick pointed out that, in FeedDemon, the “News Bin” lets me not only keep a list of items I want to refer back to, but also publish them via NewsGator (which owns FeedDemon) as an RSS feed. This was so easy I slapped my forhead more than once over not having done it sooner. The feature is similar to one in the Google Reader, but I love FeedDemon and have no intention of switching.

The rest of Bradbury’s post (which Neville alerted me to) is a good read, too, looking at how… Read More »

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