Filtering versus Overload : Information and Content in The Digital Age

July 25, 2011
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Clay Shirky presents us with a very interesting take home from his keynote at the Web 2.0 Expo held recently in NY.   The concept that there is far too much information available…. and that  we simply can not handle the volume of incoming streams of content— is not a new concept at all — the social media layer is not the first technology to present society with the ability to be over loaded with the sheer amount of content available to consume.

Clay Shirky presents us with a very interesting take home from his keynote at the Web 2.0 Expo held recently in NY.   The concept that there is far too much information available…. and that  we simply can not handle the volume of incoming streams of content— is not a new concept at all — the social media layer is not the first technology to present society with the ability to be over loaded with the sheer amount of content available to consume.   As Shirky point out… Soon after Guttenberg invented the printing press there were more books available than any one person could possibly consume in their lifetime.  Hmmm…

Therefore, the concept put forth by Nicholas Carr that Google is “Making us Stupid” , may have some basis in reality, in part due to the technologies available to us… but is this a problem of  volume, or our ability to isolate, drill down and find the content we are looking for.  The platforms that exist enhance our ability to create and share … and thus push an enormous volume of content our way everyday.  Is this necessarily an argument  of  volume and search or it is a problem due to the lack of enabling technology to filter the streams of information available?     

Shirky does not believe this is an information volume issue… or at least that’s how I interpreted this … and he puts forth the argument that we do not have a problem with Information Overload — and resulting Analysis Paralysis….  Clay believes this is a problem of Filtering.  His keynote… thanks to BlipTV is worthy of your time.  

 

It is not difficult for many of us who “search” for information on Google’s servers to identify with the issues that Shirky is referencing.   Sure, perseverance eventually prevails (and I usually use my twitter *friends* to help) … but I strongly agree with his contention that we need better filtering tools.    I imagine (take that for what it’s worth)  there is a multi-billion dollar industry — with a very clear and unambiguous model —that  will be founded in the area of making it easy to FIND the content we are looking for, in a narrowed down, accurate , faster and simpler UI than exists online today.   

Learn more about Filtering versus Overload : Information and Content in The Digital Age at Howard J. Luks, MDHoward J. Luks, MD – Chief of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy.