I am an information hound. I love good articles. I love learning new things. I love gaining new perspectives. I love reading blogs, magazines, news, etc. I love having access to information. Lately however, I’m feeling overwhelmed. I am getting pounded with too much information. I have a Twitter feed that is constantly streaming with great links beckoning me to click them. I subscribe to 4 different email news subscriptions; entrepreneur, sales, technology, and leadership, that flood my email everyday. My google reader has over 1000 unread posts in it. I am getting hit with new information all day everyday and it’s all too much. It gives me anxiety.
I’m that guy who’s afraid I’m going to miss something. I feel the need to click every link that sounds interesting, read every article that jumps out at me and save every article in my inbox or Google Reader so I don’t miss that perfect gem of information that can change my world. Despite my best efforts, I never get to it all. My Reader never gets to empty and I will never read all the posts that are in it. I will never get to all my email subscriptions. I won’t read all the links I’ve favorited on Twitter. It will never be consumed. It’s just all too much.
We have access to more information than we’ve ever had before. Access to information is no longer a problem. Filtering information is now the big challenge. How do we get the information we need, when we need it? How do we get the information we need when we don’t know we need it? How do we manage the firehouse? We need help consuming information. I think the ability to filter information will be the next thing. I would love a way to set filters on the information coming in and have certain stuffed prioritized based on the value of the information. I think this is something the browser could tackle. Email and other content applications should also think about filtering as a feature.
This isn’t an easy problem to solve. I get it. But, I think it’s a hugely valuable one. The fire hose of information is getting bigger by the day. It’s beginning to collapse on itself as we start to tune out as it is our only mechanism to fight the onslaught. My neurotic nature won’t let me tune out, instead it all just starts to collect. I hoard it and hoarding it doesn’t make me any smarter, provide a competitive edge, or improve my knowledge, it just clutters my feed reader, my email box and my Twitter feed. When this happens the information has lost it’s value. The problem is no longer lack of information. The problem is how to consume it. It is the right information at the right time and that’s not an easy problem to solve.
How do you deal with the all the information?