Where do You get Your Information?

When you need to learn about something, where do you turn? Dan sent me the following email:

Many people use the Web for learning new things and broadening their experience, but I’ve gotta be honest… I’m a total junkie for learning more about anything interesting (even if I’ve never heard of it before). Chris’s operation has helped me get my tech fix most of the time, but I continuously explore new sources for learning. I thought I might share some of what I’ve learned.

Here is Dan’s Top Five List of Free General Information Resources

  • Media Websites A lot of radio and TV stations are starting to put their content online. I don’t always have time to listen to NPR when its broadcast live, but the local talk radio station here has links to all the podcast versions of their programs. Of course, some people have become averse to old media, but for many they’re still a good source of current events and information.
  • Video and Podcast Websites Holding up the cutting edge of media creation, websites like Chris’s are VERY useful for specific interests (Chris is one of the best examples). There are individually run sites (like GeekBriefTV or Robert Krampf) which provide a stream of useful and specific information. There are also group sites (like Revision3 or KoldCast) that offer a collection of sources in one place.
  • YouTube and Google Video Everyone uses YouTube and Google, and there’s a surprising amount of useful and educational information available. Google video tends to have longer videos like full documentaries BUT the ‘@Google’ presentations are also fantastic sources of information. Check that YouTube channel out if you’re interested in learning more.
  • iTunes U Released recently, the iTunes store now has a section of entirely free courses and lectures from a variety of sources. I haven’t explored this source very much yet, but it has a great deal of potential.
  • The Ted Talks This source really is in a league of its own. The TED conference is an incredible compilation of knowledge from an unprecedented number of areas and experts. The talks range from shockingly informative to down-right awe-inspiring. There are lots of areas to choose from and they’re great to send to friends that you know would be interested.

How do You Deal with Information Overload?

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The problem today isn’t that there’s not enough information. There’s too much. It’s not there aren’t ways to publish content on the Internet – there are an abundance. A lot of noise comes with that signal. So we’ve got different problems than we used to have. Information used to be handed to us from “on high”, as recently as a decade ago. Nowadays, information is just literally everywhere. It’s overwhelming at times. It’s impossible for me to keep up with the news aggregator, the email, the social networks…

Where does it end? How do you keep up with this information overload? It’s gotten to the point where I’ve had to start actually closing my system down. I love information. I’m an information junkie! I love teaching, learning, consuming, producing… I love it all. Imagine billions of people like me, though. How do we deal with all of it? I received an email recently about this very subject:

As it relates to hardware, Moore’s law does a good job of explaining the limitation of transistors in relation to the exponential growth of such systems. Is there an equivalent to Moore’s law for searching and assembling all of the information that is found online? What are we to do when the content becomes so overwhelming that we may have to design better tools just for managing and viewing information?

Are we relying too much on the machine to figure out what’s good and what’s bad? I think we are, and that’s where information overload is getting to be overwhelming. A few years ago, I was able to deal with it much easier. I think that’s because the tools just weren’t as good at putting the information together for us. It gets bigger and bigger.. and worse and worse… every day.

I believe the future of information overload is to go back to classic mode: humans and machines. The Internet is the connection between us. If I have a question about something, I’ll turn to someone I know, and who will have the correct information. What’s the answer to all of this information overload then?

I’m interested in hearing your opinions on this. Leave me a follow-up comment here, or send me an email to [email protected]


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Windows Vista Stories

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – A few friends joined me live to discuss their opinions and thoughts about Windows Vista. We discuss issues, as well as what we each feel should be done to improve.

Four of my friends joined me for this discussion: Kat, SC_Thor, Wirelesspacket, and last but certainly not least… Datalore.

Everyone agrees that Vista was simply not ready for release when Microsoft let loose Vista on the general public. Unfortunately, we all also agree that it would take drastic overhauls to make Vista better.

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