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Information overload

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007...8:35 pm

Information overload


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Hi, my names Dan and I’m an information addict.

I don’t know about you but I’m starting to struggle to keep up with the masses of information floating around the web every day. My time management skills are terrible at the best of times but the time I spend catching up on whats happening on the web is starting to seriously encroach on the time I spend on development, writing, and just my free time in general. I’m getting between 4 to 6 hours sleep a night at best, which is bareable but is definetly having an effect on how productive I am during the day.

I could never relate to people who’d say ‘there isn’t enough time in the day‘. Until recently time was something I had an abundance of, but now I understand where they’re coming from, and man is it a frustrating position to be in.

To give you an idea of a usual days backlog of reading have a look at the image below.

Now you might think I just opened a bunch of windows for effect but I didn’t. That’s seriously the amount of information I trawl through everyday. It get’s worse though because each of those Firefox windows has on average about 5 tabs open on each. It’s a lot of reading to get through when there are other things I need to be doing.

The natural first step is to cut out the superfluous. I’ve already stopped visiting quite a few sites simply because I’ve forgotten to check them. They were the first casualties. Now let’s face it, there’s a lot of duplicate information out there. A story will break and then spread like a virus across hundreds, sometimes thousands of sites. The content will be the same, the delivery and spin will be a little different. As much as I like reading peoples opinions it often adds very little to core value of the story. So as much as I hate to do it I need to just pick one site that covers a topic and stick to it.

Personal blogs however will be more difficult to slim down on. While they have their fair share of duplicate content, the posts in between the relaying of news are often the most informative and genuinly useful content I’ve come across. So I don’t think I’ll be changing my habits there very much.

I’ll see how I go the next few days. I think I’m already starting to get withdrawals.

8 Comments

  • I know what you mean. Serious information overload all at one time.

    Try looking for just one particular news source that carry all the topics that you usually do research on. Believe it or not, I have managed to narrow it down to 7 sources…..

    Thanks for dropping by my blog :)

  • have you ever tried using rss feeds? i always thought it was a crock until i started using netvibes.com and now i’m hooked. and i’m amazed how much time i save these days.
    takes some adjustment, though.
    first time reader :o)

  • [...] Finally…Dan at The Wrong Advices shares his thought on information overload on the web.  I’m sure this is something that all of us have run into with the plethora of [...]

  • Sharon if I could get it down to 7 sources I’d be able to sleep in till midday :) I don’t see it happening though.

    rah I did try rss feeds with Firefox a while back but it didn’t catch. It wouldn’t update properly and I just gave up. I’ll have to give netvibes a try. If it helps me get through my reading list more efficiently I’m willing to give it a chance.

  • I use RSS Bandit for my feeds, sure it’s a separate program but I like the little auto pop-ups it has in the task bar that tell me when there is a new post to read.

  • Tyler I like the idea of a popup when there’s new posts. The downside is I’d probably stop whatever I’m doing to read it.

  • [...] I read constantly. Maybe a little too much. There’s so much knowledge out there that sometimes its hard to keep up. [...]

  • [...] say I’m impressed. My experience with them in the past has never been good but the fact that my daily reading list has grown so big has forced me to start looking for a more efficient and streamlined way of getting [...]

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