It’s been four years since 30 or so people came together at the headquarters of Microsoft Research to talk about a worldwide problem — information overload.
The group included technologists, academicians, researchers, consultants, solution providers and other deep thinkers from Intel, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Morgan Stanley, Stanford University, UC Irvine, and other high-profile organizations. Organizations that both cause information overload and need to solve it.
From those discussions emerged the Information Overload Research Group. The following year (2008), IORG became a non-profit corporation, held a conference in New York, and got serious ink in places like TIME, the Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review.
Now it’s 2011. Society may have gotten a little smarter about information overload, but the deluge continues unabated. The good news is that IORG is poised to become a more effective voice in the struggle against overload. The organization’s agenda for 2011:
• A new website (up and running at iorgforum.org)
• A repository of significant research on information overload (coming soon)
• An information overload index (is it getting worse or better?)
• A quarterly teleconference with experts
• Periodic “research briefs” with the best current research
• A live conference late this year (still tentative)
• Taking part in Information Overload Awareness Day
What else can/should we do? Your ideas are more than welcome. In fact, in the words of IORG President Nathan Zeldes, “if you share our passion for eliminating info Overload, I urge you to join the group and influence its activity!”
The dues are low. The opportunity to make a difference is high. It’s time to help the world get a handle on this.