Posted by: Jack Santos
There is a disease among us that I call STS – stock ticker syndrome. I experience the symptoms at least once a day. Usually it’s someone asking me if I saw their email, or me asking someone else. And usually the response is : “No..I never got it…let me look…oh there it is….sorry”. Or, alternatively, “No – never got it, must have gone into spam” (usually it’s sitting in the inbox).
The real problem is that in our 21st century communication system that we have built, these tidbits of information fly in and out so fast it is easy to miss something – like watching a stock ticker. At any given minute of any given hour of any given day, you can see the emails coming in at a regular pace. And many people do just that – mesmerized by the pattern.
Our Gartner/Burton content and collaboration guys have a good recommendation for this: software that “pulls” relevant info forward, and pushes “irrelevant” info back. The real issue becomes what is relevant and not.
Vendors are jumping into the fray – Facebook comes at it with a social networking bent, Google, in its typical “throw mud on the wall and see what sticks” approach, has already introduced multiple attempts (like “Wave”) -- the latest is “Buzz” for Gmail. Even collaboration tools like SharePoint (or Lotus Notes) think they have a solution. Twitter comes at it from a different direction…make the tidbits smaller, but more numerous; so if you can’t beat STS, join it .
They fact is that it’s just life as we know it, and we’ll have to get used to high “miss” rates….which is worrisome. I suppose the argument could be made that the only difference with pre-internet life is that now we know (or can find out) what we missed, whereas before we would have no clue, and no way to find out. I suppose so. But this is a troubling side effect of the information society, and not something the just “unified communications” (whatever that marketing term means) can solve…..But it’s an issue we (as management) need to focus on.
Just delivering new ways of funneling more information, and no context or filtering, (like Buzz) won’t help…