Guest Post: How to Prevent Information Overload

The good news: The Internet puts the world at your fingertips.

The bad news: The Internet puts the world at your fingertips.

While it makes a publicist’s job (and most everyone else’s) much easier to have unfettered access to information on just about every topic, it can get overwhelming when it’s time to pull what you need for the task at hand.

Technology is also trying to come to the rescue on this issue. In today’s guest post, Luosheng Peng, an entrepreneur who is now the CEO and president of GageIn, a social business intelligence startup, talks about some of the new tools to find and organize information, and why you should be taking them for a test drive.

Have you come across any useful tools worth noting? The comments section is open. And for more of today’s guest post, click through, if you can handle it.

The Content Curation Market Heats Up by Dr. Luosheng Peng, CEO of GageIn

Currently, at least 19.31 billion pages make up the entire World Wide Web. Even the tiny fraction of the pages you can realistically track to gather information on your clients and their competitors produces staggering amounts of information (relevant or not). This can be paralyzing for busy PR professionals who need information as quickly as it is put out.

In between finding important announcements made by competitors, monitoring news about the industry, tracking coverage trends, and gauging social media buzz, PR professionals have a full plate of information sources –websites, RSS feeds, newsletters, and other data sources – they must follow every day. Unfortunately, we have all felt the pain of spending and wasting huge amounts of time each day sifting through these mountains of data sources to find relevant information. There is also a resulting impact on the business bottom line. In fact, a recent report from Basex Research Group estimates that workers lose 28 percent of their time to information overload. That amounts to nearly $997 billion in annual lost productivity for companies.

We undeniably need help combing the Web and this basic need is spurring the growth of social sharing sites that can also help us respond to the pervasive problem of information overload.

A number of consumer-focused platforms have been developed to help users manage the flow of information they track and monitor each day for interesting content. Because the market for similar enterprise software hasn’t appeared yet, many PR professionals have had to rely on using consumer tools to help them monitor the vast flow of information they must consume every day.

Thoora – Combines machine aggregated content and human curation to help users discover the web and monitor topics of interest.

Netvibes – Creates a dashboard view of your favorite social media sites so you can easily monitor blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.

Storify – Uses social media content to create and share a story with the community via dragging and dropping Tweets, photos, and videos.

This new generation of platforms is replacing the old way of gathering and attempting to manage the flow of information. Wrong too, is keeping data siloed within the communications department. Your colleagues, regardless of where they are in the enterprise, such as sales, competitive intelligence, R&D or product development, can equally benefit from the intelligence gathered on the PR front line.

To be the most efficient at information gathering, you have to pick and chose the right tools that can help you cut through “junk” data. Many new platforms allow users to monitor news and information from a wide number of sources. Additionally, sharing is caring, so use these tools to help you leverage data and collaborate with your colleagues for more effective outcomes. Make sure to look for tools that allow you to consolidate multiple functions (content curation, information sharing, collaboration, etc.) into one platform so you can reduce your arsenal of essential tools.

The content curation market is heating up and the business world is starting to develop real, enterprise-grade solutions that can legitimately prevent becoming overwhelmed.  Regardless of the tools you select, the future of how you sort, prioritize, and filter information is quickly developing and approaching.