Information overload? Shooting your computer is not the only solution

3 09 2008

I’m sure I’m not alone in being easily distracted by the myriad beeps, buzzes and rings that make up part of office life. Combine Outlook alerts, MSN, your mobile, RSS and meeting reminders and there’s a veritable minefield of potential distractions just waiting to make a friendly beeping noise at you and drag you away from whatever it was that you were really, really meant to be doing. Sara Houghton-Jan, aka the Librarian in Black, writes about how to cope with this information overload in her article Being Wired or Being Tired: 10 Ways to Cope with Information Overload in Ariadne Magazine. It helpfully addresses the pitfalls of modern alerting technology and gives some common sense suggestions for dealing with them, none of which, fortunately, involve doing this:


13 08 2008

RSS is wonderful stuff, I think of it as my internet paperboy*, hurling a tightly furled bundle of hot fresh news onto my carefully manicured lawn each morning. I’m always sceptical when approaching new technologies, novelty often outweighs convenience and long-term usability and I’m only really interested in things that are going to take root and develop. I’m fairly sure RSS will be one of those things; it saves you going to and fro between your favourite sites for news and new information, bringing the news to you rather than the other way round. I’d like to say this appeals to me because it’s innovative and forward-thinking but the fact is I’m lazy, so if the mountain wants to come to Mohammad that’s fine by me. I prefer to use Pageflakes to view my feeds, I’m very visual so it’s good to have nice little shiny tiles with a feed in apiece to look at. Other people prefer the list format you get when using readers like Bloglines, so I’m interested in finding a way of combining the visual / list approach for the Learning development links on Sharepoint. Also, if anyone knows of an easy way of setting up an RSS feed, I’d be more than happy to find out!