Valovic on Virtualization

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Too Much Information!

 "We're drowning in information but starved for knowledge."
-- John Naisbitt

I used to be a great fan of John Naisbitt back in the day. And let's face it, the man has a great beard. I have no idea what he's up to these days although it would I suppose be easy enough to check [Editor's note: Here's a start, Tom]. In any event, I used the above quote in my second book Digital Mythologies (which is now sadly out of date but, thanks to Rutgers University Press, still in print.)

Not unlike the retrospective Joni Mitchell CD, the book contains a fair amount of both hits and misses in terms of predictions about the Internet and its impacts on culture (although sometimes the misses can be more interesting, don't you think?).

As a high-tech magazine editor, then analyst, and now editor again, I've thought long and hard over the years about the problem of how IT managers or anyone who needs to keep track and make sense of a fast-moving emerging technology can optimally do that.

For all of its conveniences, search, Googlized or otherwise, may have made some things easier but, as I wrote about in the book, with its "embarassment of riches" it also creates a whole new set of issues, challenges and, sometimes, it must be said, annoyances in the Great Information Hunt.

I've been more acutely aware of these paradoxes given the deluge of information out there on virtualization and have seen the process happen many times before with other emerging technologies.

There's an expanding universe of material out there, but where do you start, how do you organize your feeds and, most importantly, how do you makes sure your not missing with the obvious, a game-changing exogenous X factor? Or, more tactically, how to you avoid getting seduced by the attention deficit disorder that Web search can induce as you drift from link to link and then, like a non-virtual surfer caught by the tide, can no longer see land?

What are your thoughts about how to deal with virtualization information overload? Comment here or shoot me an e-mail.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 06/11/2008 at 12:49 PM


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