Friday, March 13, 2009

Too Much E-everything? E-eeek!

Lots of discussion on the net about how many is too many. In my case, the number of electronic newsletters I get each day has increased two-fold in the last four months. The majority go straight to “file.” And then there’s the social media explosion. My Linkedin updates have six categories (profile updates, connections, status, groups, recommendations, and applications). It seems like not so long ago, I never even got updates. Ryan Carson says he's got too many Twitter followers (3,000, each generating some four @replies). He can't keep up and theorizes that microblogging services break down when you have more than 100 followers. Can anybody handle all this digital input? The Economist reports on an Oxford University study that says our brains appear to limit the size of any social network we can develop. In the case of human gray matter, the max is about 148 "stable" networks (I'm tempted to sidetrack into researching what an "unstable" network might look like -- war? -- but am controlling the impulse). Does the same social network overload translate somehow to e-information, generally? Blogger Valley Wag suggests that even folks with a big built-in fan base probably won’t be able to drag their followers online for long. And there's the new "tell all transparency" ... but does that have as-yet-unseen ramifications? Junta42 features a blog from Joe Pulizzi, reporting on how one gal’s career was obliterated by today's version of backyard gossip, aka social media activity. So far, looks like the pop culture expression "too much information!" says it all.

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