Today the term “Information Overload” is a euphemism for drinking from the proverbial firehouse. The reality is that we are exposed to more than 100,000 words each day. We love our always-connected gadgets, but they are shortening our attention spans into small less effective blocks as we try to digest this deluge. Every 60 seconds the world sends another 168 million emails.
- According to IBM, 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last 2 years
- EMC claims data will grow 50X in the next 10 years
So how do you make sense of it all? The answer is in taking away the detritus and focusing on ease of use. Leverage the tools available to you today to filter and receive only what you need (sign up for feeds that interest you – i.e. RSS, twitter, Readability tools like that). Check email at appointed times – not all the time. Make changes in your browser preferences to simplify what shows up on screen. Easy example: block popups.
But the real secret for those of us who create information and information products, is to start making it easier to access. Make your customer interactions understandable – even if it makes things harder for you to service or support. The process engineering inside any company should be about how to make things easier for their customers. Companies who have done that reap the ultimate reward of customer loyalty. Amazon is a shining example with their one click ordering. That was expensive for them – and makes them the preferred vendor for the times we still want a hard bound item. Every business is complex. But you don’t need to make your goods or services that way. Just because you can put it all together in a huge mashup doesn’t mean it makes it easier to understand. Today we all have access to more information than we can use. Make sure you delivers the type of information that prospects and customers find valuable. Simplify the way customers interact with your business and you start to break through the growing clutter in their digital lives. In the words of the great Guy Kawasaki – start to make meaning.