The themes of knowledge sharing and collaboration have dominated our discussions since the beginning of the course. As the class began to explore sharing and collaboration tools, the discussions turned to the issue of information overload as a result of the ability to share and collaborate at warp speed. Even those whose professions require highly skillful management of information found the multiplier effect of open sharing daunting and “depressing.” While I agree that twitter and even Netvibes can result in a deluge of often irrelevant information, there are still ways, as yet imperfect, to filter the noise.
Twitter, in particular, presents a challenge to the novice user by allowing the same hashtag to be used by multiple and unrelated users and groups. As yet there are only imperfect ways to reduce this such as privacy settings and using a hashtag obscure enough that no one else would use it. Unfortunately, the volume of twitter users has rendered this unlikely. Perhaps creating several very focused and streamlined groups would help, along with privacy settings. As with Dr. Bozarth’s bookclub, we must invite only those who can contribute to and use our information and be careful on how we focus our group. Has the revolution eaten its children already?
My solution is to use Netvibes, blogs, and Diigo to categorize information and allow the “real time” function to reside on the blog or Diigo as a twitter blogroll. Instead of slogging through and reading links in twitter feeds, you can use Diigo’s tag system and the categories of blogrolls on blogs. Thus, users can categorize and describe information to be shared. It’s all about how to prioritize functions and features for different purposes.