Data Saturation and Sanity

I, like so many others, have hit the wall: data overload. There’s SO much out there, interesting and readily available. Free, or so for all practical intent; very few barriers. Not too long ago, price helped keep this in check. Our resources to spend on magazines, newspapers and the like naturally limited out data-stream. Yes, we had free at libraries, but content was still limited (by the fiscal concerns of libraries as well as any particular mag being used or destroyed by another patron) and there was the time commitment. Clearly the topography has changed.

Content commodified: for creatives, this might be horrifying. I have a bit of that reaction. But this condition needs to drive a focus on quality. We content creators need to create the best stuff we can. And be aware of the subjective nature of “best”.

But “best” can still be buried within a sea of adequate. The tools for navigating this are still being crafted. I consider the hundreds of email I delete a day. All those newsletters I subscribed to. I’m interested in them, value the quality, yet am pushed past my time limits and am simply stuck. Then there’s my Google reader steam I haven’t so much as looked at in ages. And social media? Besides Facebook, I’m not trying to keep up with everything. I can’t read every Tweet. And I don’t have thousands in my stream. Much less Google+, Quora, LinkedIn, et masse. Nope: no keeping up with all of this without sacrifice.

I haven’t come close to mastery. Though I’ve explored ideas, from Franklin-Covey to Getting Things Done…still the feeling remains. Ignoring streams isn’t a satisfying solution. I tend to binge and purge.

What about you? You got this down? How go you triage your data-stream?


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