Help Out Please – Information Overload Study from Basex

I am an avid fan of Basex and their TechWatch newsletter. They are conducting a survey on Information Overload and I strongly urge you to participate. I’ve copied the text of his latest editorial below – and to take the survey:

“The survey can be found at and survey
takers are eligible to win a Palm Treo 750 smartphone with Windows Mobile



In December 2003, we named spam e-mail our Product-of-the-Year for 2004,
explaining that this was akin to Time magazine’s naming Adolf Hitler Man of
the Year in 1938. Spam, we wrote back then, was “a disruptive force that
has had a major impact on almost everyone who uses a computer.”

The Product-of-the-Year designation is meant to recognize technologies that
have had a major impact on how we work using information technology – and
nothing has had a more profound effect than the disruptive nature of spam.
Until now, that is.

This week we named Information Overload as the 2008 Problem-of-the-Year.

Whether sitting at a desk in the office, in a conference room, in one’s
home office, or at a client, the likelihood of being able to complete a
task (what many call “work”) without interruption is nil. Content creation
has gone off the charts and new forms of content are being pushed towards
us at a rapid pace. It’s not just e-mail, junk mail, text messages, phone
calls, and monthly reports anymore.

Intel, a company with 94,000 employees, sees Information Overload as a
serious problem. “At Intel we estimated the impact of information overload
on each knowledge worker at up to eight hours a week,” says Nathan Zeldes,
a Principal Engineer focusing on computing productivity issues at Intel.
“We are now looking at applying new work behaviors that can help reduce
this impact”.

Shari Lawrence Pfleeger, a senior information scientist at the RAND
Corporation, sees Information Overload as an impediment to getting her work
done. “We are more connected than ever, but we must manage not only our
connections but also the increasing volumes of information flowing over
them. We continue to sort useful mail from junk mail, but we are
additionally stressed by sorting useful phone calls from junk calls, useful
email from spam, and in general useful from useless (and even dangerous)
information. To get really important work done, I find it helpful to take
a holiday from my connections so that I can focus on the work at hand.”

We believe that 2008 will be the year we begin to solve the problem of
information overload in a substantive way.

In conjunction with the Problem-of-the-Year announcement, Basex is
announcing a survey on information overload and today’s work environment
challenges. Ironically, the latest office productivity tools designed to
increase productivity are often having the opposite effect.

The survey can be found at and survey
takers are eligible to win a Palm Treo 750 smartphone with Windows Mobile

Please take the survey today ( and feel
free to share this link with colleagues. The more input we get via the
survey, the more we can do to solve the problem of Information Overload

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex. He can be reached at
David M. Goldes is the president of Basex. He can be reached at

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: