This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

It isn't overload when it's information you want

HAL in vector

Nick Milton has a recent piece on Knoco stories: KM and information overload

There is a real tension that we face in knowledge management, and that is the tension between increased knowledge sharing and "information overload".

He has two key aspects of this topic: 1) It isn't information overload when it is stuff you actually want. 2) Presentation / delivery of the information is an important aspect to the perception of overload.

I like this combination of ideas. One of the big problems with the KM offerings (and many information tools) is the ability to quickly lose track of the things that people are really interested in seeing. They want to present everything. Or, as Nick mentions, they want to present every minor update and change rather than being smart about updates and digesting information into more manageable chunks.

Of course, the other fun aspect of this idea is that "what I want" changes depending on my context and the hat I happen to be wearing at the moment: am I in research mode, play mode? Am I looking for something for the kids or for my wife? Am I building on something I stumbled upon in a hallway discussion? I may want very different slices and views on my stuff in all these different contexts. I don't think there are any applications out there that can do a good job of both automatically discovering my current needs AND presenting it in a useful way (yet). We are getting close, though.

[Photo: "HAL in vector" by abelmon007]

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