Keeping up with the Infosphere

Along with the periodic reflection on nodes in my social networks, I like to reflect on what catches my interest in the infosphere and why.  In the past about once a month I would document a “day in the life” of Skip by looking at the meetings, types of email, types of projects, and types of information interactions I encountered in the course of a day.

Feeding my inner infovore

With the current focus on writing daily blog entries and discovering a rich vein of Twitter knowledge connectors thanks to Cathy Davidson, my early morning infovore activities are changing dramatically.  For the past 40 years, every day would start with a cup of coffee and the daily newspaper.  I’d take a quick glance at the front page and then dive into the Sports and Business sections.  My email inbox would have to wait until I got through a look into the wider world.

However, with the acquisition of the iPad (and this year the iPad 2), my morning routine has shifted.  Without getting out of bed and without bothering my wife by turning on a bedside lamp, I reach over to the bedside table and grab my iPad.  First I check my email and then I go to the USA Today app to see what is happening in the wider world.  Then I go to Twitter to see what interesting knowledge was pointed to last night and then I head to FlipBoard to do a quick cycle through Facebook, and the other curated feeds (The New Yorker, Harvard Business Review, inarratives, Fast Company, Future Lab, Mindshift, Datavis, and Gamification).

This firehose of information shows up in professionally formatted color glossy mode on my iPad.  It’s just there – 24/7.  I’ve gone from couch potato to bed head.  There is so much here that I have to limit my semi-random information foraging to an hour (or stated another way until my craving for a cup of Nespresso coffee cuts in).

While I am sure there is a better way to capture those things that interest me or that I want to mark for future reference, I just email the link to myself.  Then after my coffee I semi-curate the references into my days To Do List.

The references to follow from this morning’s information foraging are:

With so much luck finding great articles for my many areas of interest, I decide to try once again to see if I can get my blog to connect with Flipboard so that I can view the blog in the wonderful formatting of Flipboard.  Somehow today I achieve success.

My start of day routine information seeking took 1 hour of real time.  This reflections blog post and the associated actions took four hours to accomplish.  Once again Gregory Bateson‘s observations in Steps to an Ecology of Mind triumph:

“Of course, the whole of the mind could not be reported in a part of the mind.  This follows logically from the relationship between part and whole.  The television screen does not give you total coverage or report of the events which occur in the whole televisions process; and this not merely because the viewers would not be interested in such a report, but because to report on any extra part of the total process would require extra circuitry.  But to report on the events in this extra circuitry would require a still further addition of more circuitry, and so on.  Each additional step toward increased consciousness will take the system farther from total consciousness.  To add a report on events in a given part of the machine will actually decrease the percentage of total events reported.”  P.432

Yet, what I went through in an hour this morning while in bed with my iPad 2 and the associated apps would have taken well over eight hours even four years ago.  Even then, I would have to be sitting at my desktop to try and locate all of this information.  However, it still isn’t easy enough to capture the context of each of the things I found interesting and then make those “connections” actionable – both in the immediate sense and in the longer term pattern making sense.  There is an app here somewhere.

This entry was posted in Content with Context, ebook, iPad, Knowledge Management, organizing, Quotes, Transactive Content. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Keeping up with the Infosphere

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