» Archive for January, 2012

January 18, 2012 – A notable day in information history

Thursday, January 26th, 2012 by Jonathan Spira
Google SOPA 18 January black bar

The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen. ~Tommy Smothers

In what had an eerie resemblance to a No Email Friday but which occurred for very different reasons, portions of the Internet went dark last week.

On January 18, major Web sites including Wikipedia and Reddit were closed to business. Google did not shut down but covered up its logo with a large black bar, making it look as if the site had been censored.

These were all part of a grassroots effort to protest anti-piracy legislation, namely the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect I.P. Act (PIPA), which had been working their way through Congress.

This is the first time in history that major Web sites banded together in protest and it was largely led by information providers (i.e. Wikipedia and Google), which get more traffic than other sites.

After the protest, dozens of members of Congress as well as the White House dropped their support of the bills and the sponsors of SOPA and PIPA are contemplating considerable changes to the bills.

While some of the Internet sites went a bit overboard with scare tactics about SOPA and PIPA, ultimately the power of the people – and information providers – prevailed. The people spoke and the government listened and made an abrupt about face.

And regardless of any future legislation that may address anti-piracy, January 18, 2012 was a notable day in information history.

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex and author of Overload! How Too Much Information Is Hazardous To Your Organization.

Overloaded 2012 – An IORG Event

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 by Cody Burke

On Feb. 25, in San Francisco, the Information Overload Research Group will host “Overloaded 2012″, a gathering of people from a diversity of domains such as business, academia, technology, journalism, psychology, and research, committed to the battle against information overload. We’ve intentionally decided to make this an “un-conference”, a more informal and intimate event than a full blown conference, where the focus will be on creating a lively dialog, crossing organizational and domain boundaries, and developing new insight into the state of information overload as well as the latest solutions.
In my experience, getting professional colleagues who usually interact remotely into one physical room liberates incredible energy. Ideas flow, knowledge is shared, innovative thinking is triggered, collaborations are born, friendships are cemented… in fact, IORG itself was born in the aftermath of such a gathering a few years ago. I look forward to attending this day in San Francisco with much pleasant anticipation!

If you share our passion, please join us there! Reserve your place by registering here. We look forward to meeting you in what promises to be a productive, interesting and (not least) fun coming together of like minds.

Nathan Zeldes is the president of the Information Overload Research Group.