Web Overload?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 18, 2005

As I’ve been looking into what seems like an endless stream of new Web sites and services, I admit to feeling overwhelmed. I’ve been living on MyYahoo for years, easy enough. I’m getting the hang of various RSS feed aggregators. I’ve tossed a line into the podcasting pool with Odeo. But now that I’m trying out even newer stuff like Skype, Mercora, iTunes, instant messaging—and oh yeah, Flickr, Grouper, and many more—I’ve hit some kind of limit. I just can’t DO any more. It’s embarrassing how many Web-connected applications remain .exe installation files on my Windows desktop.

The great thing about this Web 2.0 is that you aren’t just looking at stuff, you’re DOING stuff. The bad thing about Web 2.0 is … you gotta DO stuff. Can’t be a mouse potato. Is it just my aging brain rebelling against even more multitasking? Think it’s more than that. Anyway, I’d love to hear how you’re dealing with the Web’s new riches. If it’s not too much trouble, share your experiences and thoughts with all of us in Comments, below.

Reader Comments

Ken Leebow

August 19, 2005 7:52 AM

The Web 2.0 theory is interesting, however, just like only 5% of the Internet population use RSS, I'm sure the Web 2.0 participation rate is that percentage or lower.

Believe it or not, most people are unaware of Flickr, Del.icio.us, podcasting, RSS, and all the other "cool" Web 2.0 functions. The average person does not have the time nor inclination to use all these time consuming services.

After all, there is life off the Net.

Dave Sunderhaft

August 19, 2005 9:43 AM

I have found pluck 2.0 for IE to be the most efficient news aggregator.

David Geer

August 19, 2005 10:50 AM

At least they haven't found a way to sneak the Web into your Wheaties box yet. Be thankful for that.

Jonathan

August 20, 2005 11:40 AM

I mimic my kids. At first it drove me nuts but the more I practiced the more comfortable I became with ‘overload’. It starts with the mindset that there is no such thing as overload just reconfiguring. The modern teen is a natural born multitasker who can simultaneously view a computer screen with 14 IMs plus class work, listen to music in one ear, a lecture in the other, and trouser text without ever missing a beat. They are plugged in 24/7. I use the system to my advantage because I know more than ever about what they are doing, where they are, where they have been. In short, we stay connected and communicating better than ever. Although I cannot trouser text, nor have any aspirations to do so, I will do what it takes to be tech-savvy, including suffering through the occasional embarrassment of the kids outwitting me. Note: Wake up, elementary school principals; you have an army of 6 year-olds coming your way who don’t even understand the word ‘overload.’

Andy

August 22, 2005 2:44 PM

I hit that feeling exactly on the head a few weeks back. I got to the point where I had 200+ feeds through Bloglines. I have dozens of subscriptions through del.icio.us. Flickr got addicting. Odeo was so fun to use I couldn't stop. Not to mention each of these mediums sent me to dozens and dozens of new web applications that I perused only to realize that I had more toys to play with on the web than I had time to use. I can't continue to listen to a podcast while chatting, reading blogs, answering emails, and conferencing over skype. That's when I decided to downsize. I cut down my blog reading dramatically to around a dozen. I still like podcasts because audio is very easy to multi-task with. I quit playing with flickr. I use skype/IM for simple communication purposes. And I use del.icio.us for content discovery. I'm still swimming through information, but I'm now much more organized and efficient.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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