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Digital Overload or “Technostress”- Chapter 8

January 5th, 2009

I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a lot lately. Blogs, podcasts, videos, RSS feeds, Tumblrs, Flickr, Facebook…. The list goes on and on. There is more information to ingest than ever before, and for me there has never been a more inopportune time than now to face this tidal wave of information.

In 2007 alone, 1,288 X 10(to the eighteenth power) bits, or 161 Billion Gigabytes, of digital content were created, stored, and replicated around the world. In lay terms, that’s 3 million times the amount of information in all the books ever written.


That is a lot data and that is just in one year. So how do you manage all that data? You don’t. You only manage the data that you need to, and choosing what that is, well that’s the tricky part isn’t it?

At one point I had 17 different domains live on the web. Not all of them were cared for on a daily basis, or weekly basis for that matter, but they were out there. Then things got hectic, I decided to start reading more, and a downsize occurred. I went from these 17 domains, all with topics ranging from Leica cameras to Apple computers to poetry, to 3 domains. You are reading one of them, and the other two are about photography and baseball, two of my favorite things. Now each of these sites gets a third of my attention, instead of each of my sites getting 1/17 of my attention. And I’m already seeing returns by focusing my energy on a select group of blogs with very specific topics. This site has only been live for 5 days and it already has had more visitors than 13 of my old sites combined for the month of December.

I used to worry about not keeping up with my news feeds. Now, on an almost weekly basis I select “mark all as read”, because I can’t catch everything, and sometimes you need to clear the stacks of “newspapers on your driveway”, and just focus on what is happening TODAY.

Speaking of keeping up, everything is on track for a successful book #1 during this first week of January. Thanks for everyone’s comments and encouraging words.


Authors, Books, Born Digital, John Palfrey & Urs Gasser , , ,

Digital Identity

January 2nd, 2009

I’m a little worried about Born Digital. The first chapter was rather dull and out-of-touch. I completed Thursday’s flag in about an hour (45 pgs). There were a few subtle comments that made me think that these two guys spent a lot of time doing research that wasn’t followed-up on. If you are doing research about photo sharing in 2006 then you may miss what is happening with Flickr. They mention photobucket as the new player in photo sharing and only mention Flickr in passing later in the chapter. Also, the phrase “sixteen year-old girl” is used non-stop for every example they give. I get the feeling that they are trying to clue-in a 50 yr-old man into what is happening online with “those crazy kids”.

The first chapter is about identity. The second chapter is about a person’s digital dossier, which is basically a pan-out of digital identity, with identity being a sub-set of a person’s dossier. Because your dossier is more broad in scope there weren’t as many “errors” in what they view as the most recent trends. They do mention, to their credit, that as soon as their book went to press it would most likely be a little out of date.


What last nights reading did do, is make me take a look at how exposed I am with my different domains. There are a couple out there that I’m having second thoughts about. Also, it made me think about past actions on other’s blog posts, forum posts, and other areas where I voluntarily submit information that may not necessarily belong online. More crucial was how it made me take inventory on my 12-yr-old and what her actions are online. She has a laptop, and is a little social butterfly. This will undoubtedly carry over to her online identity as she gets older. It’s going to get tricky.


Authors, Book Thoughts, Books, Born Digital, John Palfrey & Urs Gasser

Divide & Conquer – Book 1 “Born Digital”

January 1st, 2009

A little daunting. Just a little. I was up until 3am finishing up my “warmup” book. All told I read 108 pgs yesterday while still trying to get work in and celebrating with friends. I was beat by the time I finished.

Now I’m starting “Born Digital”, and this morning when I woke up I wondered when I would have the time to read, how far I could get, and if I could finish this by next Thursday. So I decided to break the week into page chunks. 45 pgs/day doesn’t seem so bad. So I ran to Office Depot and bought these little “flags”, divided the book into 7 roughly equal parts, glanced at what I had done, and released a sigh of relief. This doesn’t look to hard…(I say to myself).

Born Digital – Understanding The First Generation of Digital Natives.

Based on extensive original research, including interviews with Digital Natives around the world, Born Digital explores a broad range of issues , from the highly philosophical to the purely practical: What does identity mean for young people who have dozens of online profiles and avatars? Should we worry about privacy issues – or is privacy even a relevant concern for Digital Natives? How does the concept of safety translate into an increasingly virtual world? Are online games addictive, and how do we need to worry about violent video games? What is the Internet’s impact on creativity and learning? What lies ahead – socially, professionaly, and psychologically – for this generation?


Authors, Books, Born Digital, John Palfrey & Urs Gasser, Lit Hacks