How Did We Get Lost in the Noise?




If I didn’t know better Charlie O’Donnell and many others are reading my mind. Lately I have been seeing a lot of discussion around social media noise and our inability to filter it out or manage it in such a way as to continue to make it a productive part of our days.

Perhaps my lack of enthusiasm for Friendfeed has to do with my goal to reduce the amount of digital noise – an approach that regularly sees me turn Twitter off until at least noon to reduce the number of distractions.

It is not just Friendfeed though. It is the desire for budding entrepreneurs to create new social media services, tools, and resources that add too, aggregate and multiply the noise exponentially and create an endless number of entertaining distractions.

It seems we’re at a crossroads – there’s so much information, but not enough filters. We can either drown in the lost productivity time sink that is the internet or we can swim…swim for our lives.

I have been maneuvering in the digital space for quite a number of years now and the recent explosion of social media options has forced me to do something I have never had to do before, pick and chose not only what applications are best for my own purposes but also what applications I may have to ignore regardless of their value or their deserving of my attention.

I use instant messenger and e-mail a lot, I use Twitter and Linkedin some, and occasionally I blog and or contribute to the noise in my own way. Other than that I have been forced to cut out the use of many social media applications because they were just making me so highly inefficient that it was becoming ridiculous.

At a certain point though, socializing in social media follows one of the basic economic laws: the law of diminishing returns.

I believe some time ago I reached the point where social media had hit its point of diminishing returns so now I have even had to go so far as to give up using my RSS reader. I don’t read feeds anymore, as inefficient as it sounds I have twenty websites that I visit once a day and then I just don’t go back for the rest of the day.

No matter what happens I know the new news will still be there waiting for me the next day. These have been hard choices to make but at the end of the day they are choices that I and many other marketers have had to make in the face of so much information.

I know other online marketers are also feeling the buzz of information overload, what are you doing to filter your worlds of information while being surrounded in the tempest of noise?

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    I agree lots of info out there. Just need to be smart on how you filter it. My pet pev is having to many RSS subscriptions that I dont read. I am not a huge Twitter guy, partly because it is down so much.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Google Thinks An SEO Is…..

  • http://www.seoresults.co.za Web Marketing Man

    Agree on the RSS feeds, I’ve got so many now that I hardly look at the whole lot. I visit about 30 sites at least once a day, and that pretty much fills up all the spare time I have to my disposal!

  • http://www.seopositive.com/search_engine_optimisation.htm Seo Positive

    I also agree on the RSS feeds.

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  • http://symbiancorner.blogspot.com Symbian

    You’re completely right – there are a lot of noise in social media.

    Symbian’s last blog post..Nokia S60 Symbian Windows Live client available in Europe

  • http://www.chatiks.com chat

    nice article that fits in nicely with our own perspective on how to get the word out about interactive marketing. Maybe putting actual dollar amounts next to each suggestion is cheesy, but it shows how much he values the activities.good work

  • http://www.cokozeliz.net chat

    TV & Internet are not just medium – they are environments and these environment are evolving at a supersonic speed

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Great post Roderick. Here’s what I’ve previously said on the topic: http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2008/04/if-you-eat-all-the-social-networking-candy-youre-going-to-get-sick.html

    I have 200 cable channels, but I don’t try to watch all of them at once. I’m the same with social media. ;-)

  • http://www.SmallBusinessMarketingConsultant.com Hamilton Wallace

    Maybe this shows our age, at least in internet years, but I’m with you; no more RSS feeds. The ease with which I could “turn the firehose” my way hasn’t helped. The same way I am quicker to pick up the phone sooner in an email conversation that isn’t getting anywhere, I’m heading back to less sexy ways of staying informed. Following a thread that interests me is so much more satisfying than wading through all the not-quite-on-topic stuff I subjected myself to. Try it, it’s liberating.

  • http://www.greatpriceshere.com Nicole Price

    Have you seen and interacted with people who are hooked? I do not want to become like that. I am extremely vary of getting too involved. It is alright for people who have little else to do, but, thank God, I do not fall into that category.

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..Bill Gates: Dethroned!

  • Jason Tullman

    About.com just release their Top 10 employment sites list and Linkedin is on it but when it comes time to find a job, which of these job sites will you really choose?

    http://jobsearch.about.com/od/joblistings/tp/jobbanks.htm

  • http://foolishmumbles.com Top Rated Digital

    Picking and choosing is absolutely essential to managing your time, with all these tantalizing social media carrots hanging just in front of our face. That and a little self discipline. Something I don’t have a lot of, so I usually just try to avoid those carrots altogether.

    Top Rated Digital’s last blog post..The Top 10 Digital Cameras Ripped Apart

  • http://bestyogaworkout.com Beginner Yoga Exercises

    Social media is great and has changed the face of the internet, but it sure is hard to get things done these days.

  • http://www.sociocast.com Ari S. Goldberg

    We live in a world with an overabundance of information and a lack of ways to filter it. The issue is that the amount of data and content is only going to increase, especially as the cost of content production continues to decrease. One of the things we are working on at Sociocast is leveraging the power of networks to contextually deliver information to individuals at the point of decision. The future is an organic experience where the right information is delivered to the right individual at the right time, while in parallel, brands have the opportunity to have a natural one-to-one conversation with the consumers they seek. There is an enormous opportunity right now in the content-filtering space and we will see some tremendous advances in the near future.

  • http://www.1oyunoyna.com oyun oyna

    Following a thread that interests me is so much more satisfying than wading through all the not-quite-on-topic stuff I subjected myself to. Try it, it’s liberating.

  • http://www.1oyunoyna.com muhabbet

    One of the things we are working on at Sociocast is leveraging the power of networks to contextually deliver information to individuals at the point of decision