I'm speaking at BlogHer Boston on Saturday. I'm looking forward to finally meeting Maria Thurell in person and connecting again with Twitter maven Pistachio (Laura Fitton). Even better the opportunity to see long-time BlogHer friends Liz Henry, Sarah Dopp, and many others.
So, this post is part of the presentation materials. The session combines information coping with blog communty outreach. Here's the description.
Blogging Basics: Managing Information Overload: How to find your blogging community
Join Beth Kanter, who has been writing about what she prefers to call "online information coping skills" since the 1990s, when we mostly had to worry about email. Now that blogging and social media and networking have taken over, Beth has evolved to cover how to develop both your online "listening" skills and your discovery skills. Find what really matters to you online, and keep track of it without driving yourself crazy.
I'm also excited because I have the excuse to update an information coping skills workshop that I used to teach all the time ten years ago when email was the primary cause of our information stress. My outline is here.
One of the learning tools I created for the workshop was an information overload self-assessment, a simple quiz with yes/no questions that let folks diagnose the degree of information overload they were feeling. I went back to the original and most of the questions were geared for Web 1.0. So, I've tweaked the questions.
So, here's what I'd like you to do - look at the questions and see if they make sense for social media and information overload and suggest changes. I'm trying to look at social productivity here as well - there's a fine line there. And, if you want, take the quiz, it is easy. Answer yes or no to the questions below. Count up the number of questions you responded with a "yes" and then see how information overloaded you are using this chart. Leave me a comment with any tips or suggestions for reducing information overload.
- When you open your email inbox, does it make you feel anxious about the work that you don't have time to do?
- Do you open your email in the morning before having a to do list - and start to multi-task and forget what it was in the first place you wanted to accomplish?
- Do you forget information or the names of online friends you need to know?
- Do you finish reading your email or blogs with a frustrating feeling that only a small part of what you read was really relevant to you?
- Do you ever wish the web or social media would just go away?
- Do you have email messages sitting in your inbox more than 6 months old that are "pending" further action or unread?
- Do you sometimes wish you could read or type faster?
- Do you experience frustration at the amount of electronic information you need to process daily?
- Do you sit at your computer for longer than an hour at a time without getting up to take a break?
- Do you constantly check your email, Twitter replies tab or other online servicebecause you are afraid that if you don't, you will become so far behind that you will never catch up?
- Is the only time you're off line is when you are sleeping or going to the bathroom?
- Do you feel that you often cannot concentrate?
- Are you subscribed to so many blogs that you can't read them and it makes you feel bad?
- Do you feel that you have to read word for word all information that comes into your email box or RSS reader or Twitter?
- Are you always seeking out additional information from the Internet or friends online to support a decision or complete a project but never processing it all?
- Do you get anxious if you are away from the Internet for too long?
- Do you open up multiple tabs in your browser and then forget what you were going to do?
- Is your email, google docs or hard drive filled with "virtual piles" of information or “drafts” that haven't been processed?
- Are you afraid to delete email or old files because you're afraid you might just need it someday?Are you feeling "stupid" or "ignorant" more often than you'd like?
- Are you able to locate electronic documents, blog posts, email messages or other online information that you need in the moment without wasting time playing "find the file"?