Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Blog philosophy my Signal to Noise content, or how social media drowns me

Social media’s content demand is driving me nuts! (Well ok, it is my drive that drives me mad).
Although I have been limiting my content output (mainly blog) I still have a drowning feeling. I limit my feedreading to two times a week and even that demands more time than I would wish it to take. But as a knowledge worker I have the feeling that I must learn, read, write, share and learn again.

Due to the content overload I have a tendency to read diagonally, but this speeds up my brain and in all honesty I am no rain man; if I do not read something carefully or I do not reread after a set amount of time, I just forget it. I started of as a member of the MTV generation and I am quickly growing into the SoMe-generation (= Social Media generation). This is affecting me more than I could have imagined at the beginning of my increased social media presence. Because although I have felt a great push forward in my knowledge at the same time I am increasingly aware of the shortened attention span. And however short I make it, it will never allow me to keep on top of all the content that is out there. The Greeks new it Panta Rei, but it starts to flow a bit too much for my brain.

So to overcome this information overload I have limited my feedreading, limited my social media tools, put a target on the amount of posts I want to write and limited my commenting urge (despite the SoMe angst that gave me). Still it does not do the trick, so I surfed (a the cause of all this overload) and found some kindred spirits with great suggestions and thoughts:

Alexander Van Elsas talks about the unlimited power off social media that is bound by human limitations.

Rob May who wrote an ironic article about it a year ago (What a year ago? That’s old man!) and he makes a very valuable remark on the benefit of long term growth.

Hutch Carpenter with a few nice pointers.

Erick Schonfeld from Techcrunch was overloaded with a new social media and puts his hopes into much talked about web3.0, but do I really want computers (or humans) to arrange/censor the content I am looking for with the argument of ranking, knowledge algorithms and so on? (let me confess… by the time web3.0 is coming, I will definitely be ready to accept this)

The image: I want to keep an open mind for enlightening signals of information, but at the same time keep the overload of superfluous information out… that is not easy. There is a comic strip that I really love: ‘Signal to Noise’ by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKein. I did not fully get it a couple of years ago, but everytime I read it it grows on me.