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Overload! How Too Much Information is Hazardous to your Organization

  • ID: 1955616
  • Book
  • 288 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"How do you deal with Information Overload? It′s one of the most urgent questions of our time, and nobody is better equipped to help us answer it than Jonathan Spira. This book lucidly explains where overload came from, why it matters and how organizations can combat it.Overload! isn′t just a compelling read, it′s an invaluable tool for wisely navigating this hyper–connected world." William Powers,New York Times bestselling author,Hamlet′s BlackBerry

"This book reaffirms Spira′s standing as the expert on Information Overload. He has a masterful understanding of the historical, social, and business aspects of the changes modern information and communications technologies have brought about. This is required reading for anyone trying to understand the effects of Information Overload or those designing methods to deal with it." Yale Braunstein, Professor, School of Information, University of California, Berkeley

"As a case study on the impact of Information Overload, I found the book all too enlightening. As one who has grown up with the Internet (from ARPANET days), I have seen myself and others either get buried with information or learn how to be discriminating in what you ′eat.′ This book is a MUST read for those who have lived this life or are just starting in this world of endless information. To understand is to survive." David J. Farber, Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University; former chief technologist, Federal Communications Commission

"Clever, powerful, and engaging. Jonathan puts Information Overload in context while providing smart solutions that improve productivity for busy organizations in this must–read book. We are all running on the Information Overload hamster wheel." Mike Song, lead author, The Hamster Revolution

"With traditional and new media bombarding us with more and more content, our brains ache at the thought of trying to find the things that matter in a sea of nonsense. This book will help you reexamine your time and priorities and regain a semblance of your work–life balance." Amy Wohl, Industry Analyst, Wohl Associates

"Overload! articulates the advantages of educating employees on the impact of Information Overload, the proper use of collaborative technologies, and for vendors, the need to provide improved tools that can adapt to how employees work, such as social business solutions for more nimble and transparent engagement within and external to an enterprise." Kristen Lauria, Vice President, Collaboration Solutions, IBM

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Fighting the Good Fight against Information Bloat


A Note to the Reader.



The Way Work Was.

The Age of the Knowledge Worker.

Mark Rivington s Day.

A Global Economy.

Great Moments and Milestones in Information Overload History.

Part I How We Got Here.

Chapter 1 Information, Please?

Chapter 2 History of Information.

The Information Revolution and the Book.

E–readers Rising.

After the Book Getting the Word Out.

The New News Cycle.

Chapter 3 Welcome to the Information Age.

Is Software Holding Us Back?

The Tools We Use.

Mid–Nineteenth–Century Tools: Groundwork Is Laid.

Twentieth–Century Tools: The Foundation for the Information Revolution.

Breakthroughs in Productivity.

Online Collaboration Makes Its Entrance.

Enter Charlie Chaplin.

Enter the Office Suite.

An Office for the Twenty–First Century.

The Problem with Documents.

The Collaborative Business Environment.

Chapter 4 What Is Information?

Quantifying Information.

Why Information Is Exploding.

How Information Is Going beyond Network and Storage Capabilities.

Structured versus Unstructured Information.

Data Mining to the Rescue?

Chapter 5 The Information Consumer.

Chapter 6 What Is Information Overload?

Meetings: Too Much of a Good Thing?

How Long Has This Been Going On?

More Information Isn t that What We Wanted?

Information Overload and the Tragedy of the Commons.

The Ephemerization of Information.

Chapter 7 The Cost of Information Overload.

In Search of a Management Science.

Chapter 8 What Hath Information Overload Wrought?

Aspects of Information Overload.

Information Overload Related Maladies.

The Compatibility Conundrum.

Chapter 9 The Two Freds.


Mad about Information.

Work Life Balance.

Chapter 10 Beep. Beep. Beep..

How Much Texting Is Too Much?

Sample Text Phraseology.

The Search for Whatever It Is We Are Looking For.

Chapter 11 Heading for a Nervous Breakdown.

Thinking for a Living.

The Roundtable.

How the Other Half Lives.

The New Busy Is Heading for a Nervous Breakdown.

Part II Where We Are and What We Can Do.

Chapter 12 Managing Work and Workers in the Twenty–First Century.

Chapter 13 Components of Information Overload.

E–mail Overload.

Unnecessary Interruptions and Recovery Time.

Need for Instant Gratification.

Everything Is Urgent and Important.

Chapter 14 E–mail.

The Cost of Too Much E–mail.

E–mail and the Network Effect.

Reply to All.

Profanity in E–mail (Expletive Deleted).

A Day Without E–mail.

What to Do With 2.5 Billion E–mail Messages.

Deleting E–mail, Deleting Knowledge.

Chapter 15 The Googlification of Search.

Search and the Quest for the Perfect Dishwasher.

The Search Experience.

Does the King of the Watusis Drive an Automobile?

Chapter 16 Singletasking.


Three Types of Attention.


The Supertaskers Among Us.

Chapter 17 Intel s War.

Recent Information Overload Initiatives.

Quiet Time: A Time for Thought and Reflection.

No E–mail Day.

E–mail Service Level Agreement.

Chapter 18 Government Information Overload 203.

The Government s Information Problem.

Information Overload Turns Deadly.

A Culture of Secrecy.

The Consequences of Not Connecting the Dots.

Chapter 19 The Financial Crisis and Information Overload.

No Information Overload in 1907?

Information Overload in the Market.

Chapter 20 The Tech Industry and Information Overload.

The Industry Comes Together?

Information Overload Awareness Day.

What Software Companies Are Doing.

Chapter 21 What Works Better When.

Social Software Tools in the Enterprise.

What Should I Use When?

10 Tips to Help Lower Information Overload.

Epilogue 2084: Our Future?


About the Author.

Overload Stories: The Web Site.


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Jonathan B. Spira
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