Just saw this stat from Did You Know 3.0 on YouTube:
"It is estimated that a week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century"
With this content and billions of other pages on the Internet individuals have more information available than they could ever hope to process. Financial tickers, how to guides, webinars, and tutorials on any conceivable subject, it's not hard to see how Google went from a noun to a verb in such a short time. Then add the social media phenomenon to the mix - Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Plurk, Ning, LinkedIn, Bebo, DeviantArt,.... ok this isn't a contest, I'll stop. Big list here.
What Do You Do With It?
In short, there is no shortage of information available. The question becomes, "What do we do with it"?
- You're hungry, Google for restaurant picks.
- Want to pick a movie, IMDB.com for reviews.
- Want an opinion, toss out a TwitPoll.
- Have a report to write?
- You get the idea.
How much information do you need to actually make a decision? Is it easier now with 50,000 articles, 2000 Facebook friends, and 2 Wikipedia articles giving you expert insight? Is it faster?
Don't misunderstand me. I love the great array of choices I have when I want to know something. It's even fun to kick back and get a good overview of a subject from someone like Ethan Bloch at WSYK .
New sources are invented every minute! Plus mobile devices like the iPhone give us ubiquitous access. But what's the next step?
IMHO ("in my humble opinion" for newbies), filters are the inevitable and very much needed next breakthrough. Aggregate and rate the data for me Internet, please! Put all these sources together and tell me what actually makes the most sense. NOT what's the most popular, but what's the most relevant and hopefully TRUE.
A fun step in the right direction: TweetNews: "this service boosts Yahoo’s freshest news search results (which typically don’t have much relevance since they are ordered by timestamp and that’s it) based on how similar they are to the emerging topics found on Twitter for the same query". Thanks Vik Singh
A development I foresee is a news reader that searches for all my favorite topics, weighs in some factors determined by my habits or predefined rules, and gives me the most relevant data. The best version wouldn't need a lot of setup by me, instead it would save my most popular search topics. Even better it would have a work/productivity mode and a browse mode for fun topics.
Any fabulous innovators or startups want to chime in? Show me the product that addresses this and I'm first in line, cash in hand.
Warning: Don't wait too long, some of my closest friends "code quick" :)