Battling Information Overload

February 2009
by Reid Goldsborough

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Battling Information Overload

by Reid Goldsborough

Email. Blogs. Texting. Online discussion groups. Instant messaging. RSS feeds. Web sites. Not to mention such “old media” sources as newsletters, journals, reports, books, newspapers, and magazines. In this Jetsonian Tomorrowland we live in, facilitated by the Internet, we’re inundated with information.

Information overload isn’t a new phenomenon. Nearly two millennia ago, the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, “What is the use of having countless books and libraries whose titles their owners can scarcely read through in a whole lifetime? The learner is not instructed but burdened by the mass of them.”

Still, the quantity of information produced today is unprecedented. According to the study “How Much Information?” from the University of California at Berkeley, the amount of information produced in the world increases by about 30 percent every year. The Internet is a big part of this. According the Official Google Blog (googleblog.blogspot.com), Google achieved a milestone in 2008 by finding 1 trillion unique links on the Web, up from 1 billion in 2000.

The catchphrases shed light on the situation. We’re dealing with an “exoflood” of information, forcing us into a state of “continuous …IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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