Mark Your Calendars – Information Overload Awareness Day 2010

“What can we do to call more attention to the problem of Information Overload?” is a question I still hear regularly.   Last year we came up with an answer:  participate in Information Overload Awareness Day, a new workplace observance that calls attention to the problem of information overload and how it impacts both individuals and organizations.

Here's how we solve the problem...

Over 350 people from 30 countries did exactly that.

This year, Information Overload Awareness Day falls on October 20.

We are holding an online event that will do a deep dive into different ways that Information Overload is adversely impacting knowledge work and knowledge workers while also spotlighting possible solutions to help managers and policymakers cope with loss of productivity.

The event features a variety of speakers including Dan Holshouse of George Washington University, who is the former Chief Knowledge Officer at Xerox, Max Christoph, the Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, who has been leading the charge against Information Overload there, Oliver Brdiczka, a researcher at Xerox PARC studying the problem, Dan Rasmus, Microsoft’s former director of business insights, and Nathan Zeldes, president of the Information Overload Research Group and the former executive in charge of addressing the problem at Intel.  (I’ll be there too, of course.)

While a few people put their heads in the sand and say this is not a real problem, the costs are quite real and the problem is only going to get worse.  By 2012, the typical knowledge worker will receive hundreds of messages each day via e-mail, IM, text, and social networks.

Simply put, companies need to focus on what can be done to lessen Information Overload’s impact right now.  We’ll look at the latest research and solutions and cover areas including managing e-mail, calculating Information Overload exposure, improving search, and managing content, just to name a few.

The cost of the event is $50; attendees who promise not to multitask (i.e. IM, e-mail, or text) during the event will receive a 50% discount.

Companies are invited to sponsor Information Overload Awareness Day by enrolling as Designated Sites.  This allows all of their employees to attend at no charge and demonstrates their commitment to helping solve the problem.

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.

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