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Tue, 05 Oct 2004
Pre-meetup ramblings

As Julie has already mentioned, tomorrow we'll be heading over to the Eastside blogger meetup. Perhaps Scoble and I can sit down and talk about Information Overload. I've been pondering this topic since he posted on his BloggerCon session of the same name. Philip Greenspun posted what is essentially the reverse opinion, that reading the news is of little benefit. It's an interesting question. I definitely tend towards keeping up and having lots of information pass through my brain. RSS Aggregators provide the machinery that allows lots of content to pass into my brain. Weblogs provide a source of good quality information. The combination is a treat for infovores.

There are many interesting discussions that one can have about using technology to increase the signal to noise ratio of one's personal RSS cloud. All of those conversations are predicated on the notion that higher quantities of higher quality information is good. But is that really true?

I've been watching the whole iPodder/podcasting thing with interest. On the one hand, the jump from text to rich media is obvious. On the other hand, the impact on information overload is tremendous. I can't watch a Channel9 video and be cutting through my RSS feeds at the same time. Even the audio turns out to be distracting for me, which means that podcasting isn't going to help much either. Audio and video take advantage of temporal relationships in the audio and video. You can only accelerate that a small amount before the communication is garbled. Try to compute the number of hours during a week that are potentially available for information grazing. Then add up the number of audio/video posts that you might want to consume and face reality. Podcasting (and it's obvious and imminent followon, video podcasting) are a way of providing on demand delivery of audio/video (just not controlled by big media). In some ways that's going to turn out to be pretty powerful. (I can imagine my ice skating channel coming to life if venue attendees are allowed to do DV recording and rebroadcast of events)

Hmm, that personal RSS cloud just became a personal media cloud. But it still won't be as efficient as text. And there's still the question of whether this is a good thing.

[00:42] | [computers/internet/microcontent] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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