Things are getting louder

Internet Noise Graph

The way we interact with the internet has certainly changed significantly within the space of 12 months. Too many friends, too many updates, too many stories and too much easily accessible information. Sometimes keeping up is a lot of work.

2010 needs to be a year of figuring out how to filter the fluff – it should be about selection and relevance. The rate the online world is expanding into the offline world, it is becoming difficult to keep up with it all. A serious pruning must be in order.

In some ways, the internet has become far more relevant to me. My Google Reader is brimming with subscriptions catering to every niche I am interested in. More and more of my favourite businesses, brands, friends and acquaintances have joined my Facebook and Twitter feed. With my mobile Wi-Fi enabled I can connect 24/7.

That is incredible connectivity. It is also an incredible amount of noise.

Social media is this amazing vehicle of authenticity, but its power is compromised when relevant dialog is drowned out by all the noise. Our attention spans are constantly compromised as we wonder where the next big thing is coming from rather than how we can use what we’ve already got.

I have read a comment comparing what we are facing today to the early days of email. It’s not a bad analogy, and it is worth investing some time figuring out where your energy is best invested online.

The key to harnessing the added value of social media is having a good look at what you are trying to achieve, and throwing away anything that’s not progressing you towards your goals.

That, and I’d like to feel I can spend the day unconnected and not have all everything build up to an unmanageable level!

How do your noise levels check out?

Editor in Chief at here SMNZ, I have a passion for social and digital media. When not writing and managing SMNZ I am the Head of Innovation at TAG The Agency, a digital ad agency and the Head of Sales and Marketing for End-Game, a software development agency. I'm also involved with a number of startups and I am always keen to support those that are bold enough to give things a go. Start something, better to try than to live wondering what if...

2 Comments

  1. Justin Scott Reply

    It's interesting, we were discussing exactly the same thing at the Linchpin meetup in Auckland on Wednesday. There is a lot of noise out there, and there is only some worth listening to. A lot of noise is worthless to some people, and extremely valuable to others.

    For content creators, we must decide what content to provide that creates more worthwhile content than noise to the greatest number of our target audience. The question I am still figuring out is "Do I write the content that I want and hope that my target audience enjoys it? Or do I write the content that I think my target audience wants fullstop?"

    As for listeners of the noise, I think filtering is genuinely important. But is there a filter than can figure out what we want to listen to or do we have to gradually filter through our own streams, and identify which to listen to? I am not sure there could be a filter that just knows what we want to listen to, but if there is I will be keeping an ear out for it!

  2. Joanne Faith Reply

    It's interesting you should mention that on the topic of listeners. It is difficult to figure out what we want to listen to, because often websites deliver a gem amongst other pieces of information that we are not interested in. Do we continue to hang out for those gems, or do we let go? It's rare to find a source that delivers nothing but gems.

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