March 31, 2012
If Attention is Your Most Valuable Resource, Do You Need To Go on a Diet in This Age of Big Info?
The first takeaway I got from Clay Johnson's The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption (O'Reilly Media, 2012) was that we are not passively experiencing "information overload." Instead we are trying to consume too much information in a world of information abundance. Hence, the need for making conscious choices about information intake or the need for an "information diet" as Johnson calls it. Not making such choices leads to being driven to distraction, which in turn can leave one clueless.
From the product description:
The modern human animal spends upwards of 11 hours out of every 24 in a state of constant consumption. Not eating, but gorging on information ceaselessly spewed from the screens and speakers we hold dear. Just as we have grown morbidly obese on sugar, fat, and flour—so, too, have we become gluttons for texts, instant messages, emails, RSS feeds, downloads, videos, status updates, and tweets.
We're all battling a storm of distractions, buffeted with notifications and tempted by tasty tidbits of information. And just as too much junk food can lead to obesity, too much junk information can lead to cluelessness. The Information Diet shows you how to thrive in this information glut—what to look for, what to avoid, and how to be selective. In the process, author Clay Johnson explains the role information has played throughout history, and why following his prescribed diet is essential for everyone who strives to be smart, productive, and sane.
In The Information Diet, you will:
Discover why eminent scholars are worried about our state of attention and general intelligence
Examine how today’s media—Big Info—give us exactly what we want: content that confirms our beliefs
Learn to take steps to develop data literacy, attention fitness, and a healthy sense of humor
Become engaged in the economics of information by learning how to reward good information providers
Just like a normal, healthy food diet, The Information Diet is not about consuming less—it’s about finding a healthy balance that works for you.
Digital publishing of all types of content has opened up vast amounts of content flowing from many more sources than we perviously had access to. It would be fair to assume there are more needles (relevant content) in a vastly larger haystack (universe of content). This is actually a latent opportunity to manage our attention toward the most relevant information. Librarians and Info Pros play a critical role in solving this problem by helping to shape the flow of information to the people who need it. The problem acutely impacts knowledge workers - few if any have received any training on information management. Tools are catching up and leveraging attention analytics will play a key part in the solution.
Posted by: charlie davidson | Apr 2, 2012 7:18:43 AM
Thought you may also be interested in the above, book by Andrew Whitworth, 2009.
Posted by: Sue | Mar 31, 2012 11:51:20 AM