What financial crises teaches us about information

“A 2008 Associated Press study on how young people consume news found that participants “showed signs of news fatigue; that is, they appeared debilitated by information overload and unsatisfying news experiences. Many consumers in the study were so overwhelmed and inundated by news that they just did not know what to do.”

“The technology utopians tell us that the problem is not too much information. What we need are better filters, better ways to search. That’s like saying we need a better alternative to oil. Yes, absolutely, but right now we don’t have that better alternative. We can’t just wait around for the better filters to arrive.

“The other problem with the better filter approach is poor quality information. If the information is out of date or plain wrong, then how do you filter it? If the information is badly written and confusing, then how do you filter that? If the information is badly organized and has no metadata then how do you filter that? Filters are not magical.

“There is a greater need today than ever for professional editors and librarians. People who can maintain quality standards when it comes to content. People who know how to organize a website from the point of view of the customer. When it comes to information, we really need to shift back to a focus on quality, not quantity.”

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