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Two types of information overload

Two types of information overload

Situational overload: This is analogous to the needle in a haystack problem. You need a specific piece of information, but it is buried in a mass of other information. Online search engines and other filtering tools like email and Twitter can help most of the time, but only if individuals know how to use search and filter tools effectively.

Ambient overload: Instead of a needle in a haystack problem, you have an overload of only important and interesting information. The problem is exacerbated when you try to keep up with it, make sense of it and use it all.

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The biggest problem with information overload is that information doesn't arrive at regular times, it just comes all the time. If you don't pay attention to it, you run the risk of missing critical or relevant information.

There is a growing concern that the vast amount of information generated on the web cause overwhelm, much like drinking from a fire hose. The information is rushing past us in such volume that we struggle to engage with it.

Many people use tagging and RSS feed to identify content related to a topic to make internet content easier to find.

Since the start of human information recording, we've been shifting, selecting, organising and presenting information to give it meaning and clarity.

Robin Good, who initially harnessed the idea of curation for social digital media marketing purposes, describes information delivered by search engines as "fast food".

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