Steve Rubel has a post pointing to an "Information Overload Calculator" from the research firm Basex that is estimating that information overload costs the U.S. economy $900 billion per year in "lowered employee productivity and reduced innovation." The reason? People are spending up to half their day managing and searching for information.
Rubel has been predicting and writing about the "Attention Crash." Given the competing demands for our attention is so intense and amplified by the information overload, that consumers are moving towards a massive cut back in what they pay attention to.
You can play with calculator and then download a free white paper, Information Overload: We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us which was written in 2007. The paper provides a brief contextual history of the term information overload, describes the problems, includes some case studies in large corporations and report the proceedings from the "Informania Symposium." (This was reported on an article in the New York Times last June and the implications summarized here and here) The paper raises the question, "Is information overload too many e-mails, too many interruptions, too many tasks or much stress?" The paper also talks about the blurry lines between work and personal life.
The paper offers a couple of practical strategies for avoiding information overload, including a list of "Which is Better When?" that provides a list of circumstances of when to use the telephone versus email versus IM.
The paper does not discuss the role of information overload in the context of social media use. Given recent predictions of "Too Much Information" and "Social Media Indigestion," I suspect we'll see a lot more focus on effective use of social media and ROI.
Is information overload costing your nonprofit precious staff time? What are your tips and solutions for managing information overload? What specific strategies are you using to effectively manage your organization's social media use?