Monday, February 1, 2010

Filter failure

Whenever I have conversations with colleagues, friends, family members and others about social media, more often than not, those who refuse to change and adapt to technology will poo-poo social networking sites/tools, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Often, the response is something akin to, "I can't keep up with my emails, let alone learn something new." Or, they'll say, "I don't know anything about that, and I don't care to learn something new."

Unfortunately, any variation on that response does a couple of things; 1) it identifies you as a dinosaur, and 2) you show that you are resistant to change and new ideas. Neither are positive in my book, and it also will visit obsolescence upon you if you hug that attitude too closely.

Information overload isn't a new phenomenom. It goes back centuries.

I love Clay Shirky's quote, — “It’s not information overload. It’s filter failure” —; Shirky indicates that there is a quote from Seneca back in the 4 BCE about there being, "too much information" to keep up with.

Come on folks; it's time to adapt with the times. Merely reading a newspaper, watching your local newscast, and relying on water cooler talk isn't enough to stay current today. Actually, willful ignorance has never served anyone well, particularly individuals that strive to be leaders.

I prefer Twitter right now. That may change as communication changes, which it inevitably will.

One Maine company doing a great job bringing along various organizations, particularly non-profits, helping them adapt to the new communications paradigm and social media is Encompass Marketing & Design, in Auburn.

My own embrace of new media, beyond blogging, has been gradual. I initially was resistent, particularly to the idea that one could communicate something meaningful in 140 characters. I've backed away from that, as I've found Twitter to be a great tool, or as Shirky would say, filter, sorting important information and keeping me updated on things that matter to me.

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