How to Avoid Information Overload – Separating Signal from Noise
Publishing of all sorts is now easier than ever. Books, music, web sites, blogs, video and film, audio podcasts, visual design…many forms of expression are now supported by powerful, yet relatively easy to learn, software tools.
The Upside: Freedom of Expression
Now more than ever people in so called “First World Countries” with even modest means can create and publish content. Even citizens of some developing countries now have access to the web and publishing technologies. But there’s a downside.
All that publishing, combined with the Internet as a backbone of communication, is contributing to a vast information explosion. The result for many of us is information overload.
The Downside: Too Much Noise
Information Overload Definition: Signal-to-noise ratio (often abbreviated SNR or S/N) is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. –Wikipedia.org
Not everything being published is of high quality. OK, that’s being kind. There’s lots of junk being published that is pure noise. Just too much information. More and more, we have to learn how to tune into the true signal, information that is actionable and useful. (I find email information overload especially challenging.)
Discerning the Signal
My favorite method of discovering helpful information is to identify experts. Not the self-proclaimed “experts” who are just out to make a buck and further inflate their egos, but the true thought leaders who provide profoundly helpful principles and techniques. I often locate these experts by first finding “curators” in a given field. (Akin to an art curator, for example, who works in a museum.)
My good friend, Roxanne McHenry, has become an expert in Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Publishing (among her many areas of expertise). Since 1986, this was an area I followed closely, including self-publishing books and audio series products. But given the info flood, I can’t sufficiently watch every niche within the Internet, publishing, marketing world, etc.—at least if I want to get any work done. Since I trust Roxanne’s research abilities and she’s curating content in this space, I know I’ll be well informed by reading her blog posts. She’s constantly separating the wheat from the chaff—the signal from the noise—so I don’t have to.
Building Our Own “Unofficial Advisory Council”
In each of the areas in which Positive Projections provides services, we’ve identified and follow trusted experts. We pay for some of the information—sometimes at premium prices—while other content sources are freely available. We listen to topic curators and experts who work hard to deliver as much signal as possible. This strategy saves us considerable time and allows us to provide our clients with great info.
This Positive Projections blog will be our contribution to curating a variety of technical and marketing topics of interest to solopreneurs and organizations, both for profit and nonprofit.
What Are Your Strategies?
We’d love to know how you cope with managing information overload—and perhaps even thrive—in today’s environment. We invite you to scroll down and enter your comments and/or questions.