Aggregating Towards Signal or Noise?

The hyper-connected users like me have been promised some new toys to make our lives simpler lately.

From Yahoo's OneConnect to PageOnce, Alltop, Twine, SignOn are all promising simplicity by aggregation.

Being an avid user of tools like iGoogle, Google Reader, and even a little app called Orgoo I'd helped design, I like the idea of being able to manage all my connections from one place. But are they really simplifying the info overload my attention span is bombarded with everyday?

Bringing all my news items, social streams, identities, contacts and more together can be a cool thing. But does that really help us understand the insights that drive our decisions, enable us to trust each other, help one another or be productive in society and the marketplace?

I'm not so sure.

More in one place is still MORE than ever to deal with. Growing Bacn on my startpage aside, the real questions about why we do what we do seem to go unanswered. Do we trust by volume of ratings or by people whose opinion we value? Do we act based on past behavior, or our present understanding of the context?

These are just some of the fundamentals we may want to revisit before investing energy in next killer "aggregator" app? What do you think?

Do You Know A Michael Scott?

If you don't know a Michael Scott, you might be a Michael Scott. If you're in a company run by a Michael Scott, get out. Unless career suicide is your type of thing.

Is the Noise Really the Signal?

Sure we need inspiration, not aggregation, but how does that inspiration manifest itself?

Reducing the noise through recommendations is evolving into a significant discussion.

Maybe the way to think about it is how we see clear signals from other complex systems, i.e. nature. Take weather for example: a cloudy day is a simple signal for what to anticipate from a lot of complex activity. The Ambient Devices guys got a good head start capitalizing on this idea, how about you?

© 2006 GROW |