A Quick Update from the Information Overload Front

Last Wednesday, Basex named Information Overload its 2008 Problem-of-the-Year.  We were hoping to call a bit of attention to the IO problem.  Based on the response thus far, it would appear we succeeded.

The next day, Steve Lohr at the New York Times wrote an article focusing on our news, Is Information Overload a $650 Billion Drag on the Economy?

Yesterday the AP ran a story, Researcher: Info overload costs economy,  which was picked up by a few hundred papers, mostly in the U.S. but also in the U.K. and Australia.  The story was also picked up by business publications such as Forbes and Business Week.

It would appear that we struck a nerve.  As technology has “improved,” our expectations increase.   American novelist Walter Kirn wrote a thoughtful piece in the November issue of The Atlantic, a publication that has engaged thought leaders for 150 years.  In it, Kirn remarks how multitasking is “dumbing us down and driving us crazy.”  He reflects on the cost of unnecessary interruptions: $650 billion, but puts a new spin on the issue, calling the Basex figure “our National Attention Deficit.”  The piece was one man’s odyssey, as he put it “through the nightmare of infinite connectivity.”  But we digress.

The interest was not limited to print media.  CNN, Fox Business News, and NPR all interviewed Jonathan Spira.  A bunch of bloggers have posted their own thoughts on this; one of the better ones is here.

Based on this response it’s fair to say that people are quite interested in the issue.  That is a good thing for everyone.

You can further our research efforts by taking our New Workplace Challenges survey.  Survey takers are eligible to win a Palm Treo 750 smartphone with Windows Mobile 6.

Please take the survey today and feel free to share this link with colleagues.  The more input we get via the survey, the more we can do to solve the problem of Information Overload together.

In the meantime, best wishes for 2008, a year in which we will continue the fight against Information Overload.

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.    David M. Goldes is the president of Basex.

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