The Information Overload Paradox
Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer right now. Just for a second. Imagine that it’s the 1950s. You consume as much content as you can. You likely frequent your local library. Perhaps you listen to the radio and watch the nightly news. Maybe you also subscribe to, and read the entire, daily newspaper. Maybe your household receives a few magazines every month. That’s about it. There really isn’t a big difference between the information you know is available and the information you can consume.
Now, fast forward to the late 1990′s. You live in a 200-channel television universe, there are multiple daily metropolitan newspapers, and the worldwide web is exploding. Suddenly, there is far more content created than you can consume. Today, I’ve been told, there are an average of 17 new webpages published every second. I can’t consume every single one.
So, what do I think has happened? I can certainly consume more content than I could two decades ago, but no matter how much content is available, I can’t consume much more. And relative to the sheer volume of content available to me, I’m actually consuming a smaller percentage every day.
The Race to Curate
Now, put on your Marketer Hat or your Content Creator Hat again and take a look at the Information Overload chart above. The green line represents the consumer’s ability to consume more content. Yes, it’s gone up – but only ever-so-slightly.
Now look at the blue line (the information available). It’s sky-rocketing and shows no signs of slowing down. The consumer stands no chance of consuming much more of that wonderful content you’re creating than they could yesterday or they will tomorrow.
That means we need to define our roles in this ever-growing world of content creation. In my opinion, this is why we see a huge interest in content curation over content creation. It represents the desire of the consumer to filter out the noise and get straight to relevant, high-quality content, given the limitations on their ability to consume.
via Chart of the Week: The Information Overload Paradox