Monday, March 22, 2010

March Madness

Between following the social media pundits tweeting last week from
SXSW 2010 to monitoring the NCAA Tournament, in concurrence with my daily internet surfing, I am experiencing March Madness.

Read On:
Last month I read an article in the Economist titled
The Data Deluge. The crux of the piece was how the quantity of information is soaring. One source estimated that the world created 150 exabytes (billion gigabytes) of data in 2005; this year it will create 1,200 exabytes. If my math is correct, the amount of information in the last five years has increased 8 times. The increase resonated for me, since I have committed myself to working the various social media platforms in the last six months. Between navigating discussion groups in LinkedIn, reading numerous daily blogs and following select social media gurus on twitter, I actually think my information intake has far exceeded 8 times the amount I experienced a year ago at this time.

Now it is March 22nd. Thanks to all the tweets from Austin last week, ranting about the benefits of Social Media and the excess of news items related to the NCAA Tournament, I am finally experiencing my own personal March Madness. As a result, I am suffering from a bad case of TMI (too much information) overload. Here is a recommended plan moving forward for all those in a similar situation:

· Time to get back to basics when it comes to marketing. Despite all the buzz regarding Social Media, we must not take our eye off the ball as it relates to the DNA of marketing – listening to our customers, providing solutions for our customers and concisely messaging/communicating our POD (point-of-difference) to our customers.

· We must filter through the staggering mountain of information we are faced with on a daily basis and find those bytes that are relevant to our immediate and future goals. The rest is noise. Let go! One way to filter through the information is to connect with reliable Mavens via twitter or within your valued network you can trust. They will assist you in mining for those special bytes.

· Practice time management. Balance life and Social Media. In regard to college basketball, remember there are still 15 more games until a NCAA Champion is crowned in April. More importantly, remember that spring is in the air. Go down to your local park, sit on a bench and watch your neighborhood come back to life after a long, dreary winter.

One last thought: Don’t forget to listen to the birds chirp. They are not suffering from TMI.


  1. Sound advice Jim. In the face of so much incoming information, I have found it helpful to force rank the sources of such information and eliminate those that don't "make the cut" (I recently unsubscribed to what was once one of my favorite RSS feeds because it just wasn't useful enough compared to many of the others I now receive), and to also at times recognize that you can find information when you need it, so you don't have to try and see it the moment it first comes across your desk.

  2. All too true, Jimmy. The only way to manage this information dump is to use the tools available on LinkedIn and Twitter to capture key words and trending topics of interest. I made the same mistake when I first began to use twitter by trying to follow raw commentary ...finding over time that raw commentary contained a lot of chaff. I now only snapshot certain comments based on my interests (and its STILL too much!). PS: Birds are all in FLA freakin cold here in ATL to hear any!

  3. You're my Maven. Thanks for helping me navigate the 'good' stuff. Oh, gotta go. Someone just tweeted me : )

  4. Hi Jimmy,

    Thanks for the post.

    I think anyone who has entered the social media space experiences the true force of information overload.

    I have found though that the vast majority of the information circulating is stuff you already know, or if it is not stuff you already know, it is stuff you can quickly find via a Google search at the point at which you need the relevant information.

    I manage the IO by being very selective about what I let in the door in the first instance. The following is an extract of a recent blog post of mine that provides some tips for managing IO;

    • Learn to accept that you cannot possibly, regardless of the industry you operate in, personally ever acquire all the knowledge needed to run a successful business, and be prepared to import expertise, as and only when actually needed, and then only for specific well defined tasks.

    • Realise that the vast majority of information that circulates and is always at your fingertips if you want to seek it, or is constantly being pushed and marketed to you incessantly even if you are not seeking it, is in the main stuff you already know, just repackaged, relabelled, pushed through new mediums or by new gurus, and really adds little value to your business.

    • Use a media monitoring service to deliver to you a weekly tailored package of information published about topics specific to the information needs of your business, and allocate no more than an hour or two each week to digesting the information provided.

    • Have someone else open your incoming mail and make sure they clearly understand that the only thing you want to see in your in tray is real business mail, and only then, if that mail is clearly and directly related to the activities of your main game.

    You can read the full article at

    Wishing you every success in managing your own IO.



  5. Not to add to a burden I'll be brief by quoting Clay Shirky - "It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure."

  6. Jimmy,

    On point as usual! Once you get past the "fear" of missing something, your life can begin again. As Daniel says above, all the information is out there, when you need it. There is no requirement that you absorb everything every minute, as long as you have a strategy in place and are executing accordingly.


  7. Sounds like SM detox is in order. I know the feeling. This is why the platforms will have to morph to deliver niche information in a better way than they do now.

    Good post.