Archive for December, 2009

Stop hoarding information for a rainy day

Posted on December 29th, 2009 · Posted in Individual Solutions

Here’s a story from the early nineties, a time when much information in the workplace was stored and moved on sheets of mashed tree pulp. Back then I was doing research into Artificial Neural Networks, and my coworkers at Intel got into the habit of mailing me (in an inter-office envelope) a copy of any article on the subject that they came across. And I got into the habit of piling the articles at the corner of my desk, so that I might read them one day when I had the time. After all, they were articles in my field.. Read more

SMS in Banking: no, thank you!

Posted on December 21st, 2009 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

I was talking to a friendly young lady on my bank’s telephone access line (a very convenient service, that). After she handled the transaction I needed, she told me in a cheerful voice that I’m entitled to the bank’s new SMS service, which she proceeded to describe. This great new service would enable me to receive SMS messages right to my mobile phone whenever anything happened in my account: credits, debits, credit card transactions, and so on. Each would blare an alert on my belt. That, I was told, would save me a lot of effort checking what was going.. Read more

Screening after-hours interruptions

Posted on December 17th, 2009 · Posted in Individual Solutions

Today’s knowledge workers are normally assumed to be working on company business well after they went home for the night; they are always reachable by cellphone and email. Of course they could turn off their devices when they exit the office, but most are afraid to do so in case of a real emergency, which in our global economy can come at any hour and demand their attention. What can they do? I was heartened to hear an original solution from a woman who juggles the tasks of managing a group in a high tech company, raising two kids, and.. Read more

Email overload: snowflakes or terror birds?

Posted on December 13th, 2009 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Impact and Symptoms

Email Overload had originally (that is, in the mid-1990s when the problem erupted) involved the existence of too much incoming mail. There were just too many messages arriving in the Inbox and needing to be processed. The metaphor I liked to use was of snowfall: the flakes keep coming down, and unless you shovel the accumulated layer away your driveway will be buried. What you had to do was set times to do the shoveling, and learn to do it faster. But today the snow metaphor is giving way to something much less serene and more sinister, perhaps akin to.. Read more

Tweeting the world

Posted on December 8th, 2009 · Posted in Off-topic

One of the nice things about using Twitter is that you get to “meet” interesting people from all over the solar system (yes, yes, all from one planet, for the time being). I was amused, however, to get a message from a person that expressed delight at meeting on Twitter someone from Israel. The Internet is global and universal, after all, a prime expression of the supposedly flat world we live in, and we’re used by now to connect and interact with people from all countries without second thought; and this person told me she has Twitter friends from a.. Read more

Join us at the IORG Quarterly Event on Dec. 9!

Posted on December 3rd, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

The Information Overload Research Group’s Online Quarterly Event will take place on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. EST (16:30 GMT) The event is open to everyone interested in the topic of Information Overload (at no charge, of course). This will be a roundtable discussion around the topic “How Does Information Overload Impact You?” moderated by Jonathan Spira, IORG’s VP of research. He will be joined by Prof. Jonathan Ezor, director of the Institute for Business, Law and Technology at Touro. The format of the meeting gives attendees an opportunity to talk about the personal impact of Information Overload… Read more