Information Overload Research Group

Information Overload.  It just seems to be an everyday part of life lately.  And those that complain about the challenges IO presents need to get over it and move on.  Popular perception is that there is no solution to this problem.


Well.  As you have likely seen from my previous posts – I tend to disagree.  Just getting over it isn’t going to help and frankly if we keep at this pace of trying to share more and more information — things are going to break.  This past week, I joined up with a group of others that think the tech industry itself needs to band together to come up with some a solution before we reach our breaking point.  That group is IORG ( 


While the group is in its early stages, what most impresses me about IORG is that they are making the effort to figure out the solution from a cross industry perspective.   How do we keep some notion of sanity in an environment that is just crazed.  While I have only just now joined the board as the VP of Marketing – I’d encourage you to stay tuned this fall as we gear up for a conference in Palo Alto to discuss just how we go about slaying the preverbal windmill called Information Overload.


Separately — for a few yucks – you should check out the new videos we created at Xerox on the challenges of information overload.  I am sure you can identify with some, if not all, of the side effects caused by trying to process too much information.

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  1. bobbie donaldson May 22, 2009 - Reply

    I’m grateful for this posting which highlights what I consider a serious challenge to anyone who values peace of mind. I think IO can heighten stress, making one more vulnerable to disease. I also think it affects relationships. I feel disrespected and hurt (de-valued) when I’m out to dinner with a loved one who spends 50 minutes out of 60 staring into his lap at a Blackberry and “talking” to it–like I’m not there. Personally, I spend entire weekends not listening to TV, not reading the news, not checking email or going on the web. And I feel so much more peaceful. In this age of IO, you need to constantly sift thro all that is bombarding you to determine what’s most important–and then, focus on that.

  2. Deepak Seth May 26, 2009 - Reply

    There is definitely a solution to Information Overload, public perception nothwithstanding.

    In the sphere of Data (an important contributor to the “Overload” in IO), Business Intelligence Tools provide the ability to transform data into Intelligence and more importantly Actionable Intelligence. So most Decision Makers today are not deluged by raw data but by Metrics/Dashboards/Scorecards etc. on which to base their decision.

    Similar aggregation, consolidation and presentation of other elements of Information can help in managing the “Overload” effectively.

    As for the guy who spends “50 0f 60 minutes glued to the blackberry” the issue may be less about Information Overload and more about his need to get a Social Skills 101 Refresher !! 🙂

  3. Lou Berceli June 9, 2009 - Reply

    A collection of thought provoking INFORMATION OVERLOAD topics from DM colleagues and groups.

    Compiled by Lou Berceli.

    Please add any additions about your e-media overloads and leading edge DM solutions

    Today’s e-media overload has created a B to B & B to C marketing challenge.

    ● We will each receive 6,390 unwanted e-mails a year by 2008 on average. per Jupiter Research August 2007

    ● Most are blocking, filtering and / or deleting far more e-mails at our home, office and on mobile PDAs than we are reading!

    ● Yahoo Mail, G Mail, AOL block or filter Billions of SPAM e-mails daily. 75% to 80% of business e-mail is Spam per Postini

    ● 49% of American adults change at least one e-mail address yearly. Ever wonder why? The Center for Media Research

    ● 145 million or 73% of American consumers are on 2007 National Do-Not-Call Registry. Canada started in Oct. 2008

    ● By 2009, TIVO and DVRs allow consumers to easily avoid commercials in over 40% of U.S. homes per Ad Age

    ● Consumers surf hundreds of TV channels, Web and Social Networking sites each month adding to e-media overload.

    ● iPod / MP3 players, Internet Radio are eroding broadcast radio’s commercial ad power in consumers’ cars, homes, mobile.

    ● Soon you will experience even more e-Media Ad Overload with Mobile TV via Smart Cell Phone and online with Hulu TV Free 24 x 7.

    ● U.S. Cell phone text message SPAM dramatically increased to 1.5 Billion messages in 2008 per Ferris Research

    ● By 2009, over 20 million subscribers will enjoy commercial free Sirius XM Radio in cars, home & office. Media Daily News

    ● 70% of Consumers say they receive too many e-mail promotions. Averaging 110 / week. Forrester

    ● Many e-promos / e-newsletters we originally signed up for are unread, deleted or filtered into overloaded e-mail in-boxes.

    ● Video monitors deliver promo ads to us at the grocery store cash register, gas station pumps, in elevators, fast food restaurants.

    ● The average American is exposed to as many as 3000 advertising messages per day. InfoTrends

    Direct Mail is rapidly evolving as a multi-channel direct marketing media.

    Direct Mail NEVER interrupts your favorite TV show / movie or enjoyment of radio music. You decide when to read DM !

    USPS study concluded that 76% of American homes average 25 minutes a day reading direct mail.

    Direct Marketing Association study shows over 35% prefer to respond to direct mail by going on-line.

    Highly targeted direct mail lists help increase response rates for retail and e-commerce traffic and B to B sales.

    Database driven direct mail marketing cuts through some of the e-media overload for most multi-channel marketers.

    TransPromo = the merging of relevant DM Promo offers within your monthly Transactional statements is rapidly growing

    Several companies now offer very high speed roll-fed digital color variable printing systems with cost saving inline finishing at greatly reduced costs per copy.

    Adding variable imaged Personal URLs or PURLs to a direct mailer is a growing trend proven to increase response rates.

    Cross-media PURLs offers real time response reporting, measurable ROI and can include rich audio/video media content and online coupons to drive measurable store traffic.


  4. Maisach July 7, 2010 - Reply

    the post was wonderful – how long did you wrote on that thing?

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