Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Information Overload: The Future Of Search And Information Access

The online universe is evolving rapidly and many critical changes are taking place right now.
Information overload is reaching, as long forecasted, new heights. It is becoming increasingly difficult to manage it all, or even to decide what to discard and what not. In the end, lots of relevant information is lost or it never reaches its ideal destinations.
The connection between information creators and information users is to be perfected.

As the network starts rapidly organize itself, different levels of automatic filtering will gradually make it easier for people to access the "right" information, and for information to be rapidly found by whoever seeks it.




Yes, search engines are going to be playing an important role in this, and I personally anticipate the gradual, probably slow, but definite demise of the Google-approach to information search. Meta, and visual search engines will play a much bigger role in our future information searches. People working in
information architecture, information design, and data visualization and interface design have a fascinating future ahead of them as we need them to create the new metaphors, visual analogies and intuitive access routes that will greatly improve our abilities to rapidly access relevant information.
There is already a flurry of new search tools around but you can be sure that the trend has only started. We are finally going to have some effective, powerful and innovative alternatives.
On a complementary front the strong gain in popularity of RSS feeds and the rapid increase in the amount of online content available in this format has given rise to an initial understanding of what this is going to make possible within the
coming months.
RSS-based content is a pot of gold that can be leveraged for the creation, aggregation and syndication of very high-quality focussed content on just about any topic. Beware, I am not referring to the generic news feeds that can be created around a keyword pulling all of the news items on a certain topic, but to much more refined news feeds, with quality content from selected sources.
I am tired of accessing RSS newsfeeds that contain only press releases from companies announcing, promoting and marketing products. That is NOT the type of information I seek in a dedicated RSS news feed. I search for true quality selected content on a very specific topic. Believe me, there isn't much around, and when you see this type of content, which by nature is rather ad-free, you recognize it immediately.
You recognize it by the fact that it enriches your knowledge, resources, tools and solutions at every item it delivers to you.
In summary: RSS newsfeeds are already becoming a key alternative route to access information. They allow ad-free and spam-free information distribution at very low-cost that is user-centered and managed.

The issue is that today's feeds are mostly output of frequently mediocre blogs, and rarely the fruit of a time-nurtured search and analysis process.

But the quality feeds of the upcoming future are like good wine. You can't build them overnight, and the more time you give to refine and improve them, the better the quality and relevancy of what they produce.
Even for people in developing countries accessing information that is relevant to them can be done much more effectively through accessing RSS newsfeeds rather than by accessing slow - loading Web site pages or having to navigate to different Internet locations.
Those who are willing to wet their feet into this new emerging universe of RSS publishing will be fascinated to see that there are enormous opportunities available and that this medium can truly provide some truly beneficial advantages both to information publishers and readers.
What I am describing cannot be easily grasped unless you personally try out some of the many fascinating newsmastering tools, aided by your intelligent and educated analysis, and see in first person the results they can produce.

Readers' Comments    
2004-03-10 15:42:30

Professional Search Engine Marketing

RSS-based content is a pot of gold: Agreed.

2004-03-10 15:04:09

Ralph Poole

You may notice that the quote I use to introduce my blog is “Information networks straddle the world. Nothing remains concealed. But the sheer volume of information dissolves the information. We are unable to take it all in.” Günther Grass.

I think this quote is relevant to the conversation about Information Overload.


posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, March 10 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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