What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.
- Herbert Simon
Online forums, message boards, and newsgroups are now ubiquitous. These powerful communication tools offer many strong benefits. However, forum participation can also become a destructive addiction, where the benefits are overshadowed by negative side effects.
Steve posted this article back in May and David Teten just made reference to it. Along with listing the benefits and negative effects of excessive forum usage, he provides a list of suggestions for overcoming the negative effects while still enjoying the benefits.
It's an interesting read, certainly because I have been this kind of person with respect to newsgroups. Fortunately, I treat most of the mailing lists as informative and will skim most articles, particularly when there are threads that fall below the interesting-to-me threshold. I am still somewhat stuck in this position with respect to blogs, though I have been approaching my outer circle of blogs with a healthier attitude.