Fighting Infobesity

March 28, 2013

by Alexander Sennhauser

Have you ever heard of the word “infobesity”? It is a nickname for the term  “information overload” which was popularized by Alvin Toffler in the 1970s. Quoting Wikipedia, the term refers to “the difficulty a person can have understanding an issue and making decisions that can be caused by the presence of too much information.”

In a previous post I argued in favor of data driven decisions in a business context. But information overload is not only present in a business environment.

At Squirro we all have a variety of interests besides working on context intelligence and creating a new category leader. Some of use like to read popular blogs such as Techcrunch or Lifehacker. Others fancy to stay updated on the latest recipes from Foodgawker. These sites publish huge amounts of content and it is not always easy to get to what is relevant to you. As a follower you often simply don’t have the time necessary to filter all this information manually and decide which article or recipe to read.

As we highlighted before, context matters. In fact it matters a lot. This is why Squirro looks at the context of your interest to filter popular news sources for articles and recipes that matter most to you. Here is how this works step-by-step with the examples illustrated above:

  • Use the “Add Topic” dialog in Squirro to subscribe to a popular RSS feed or simply click the links below.
    Techcrunch
    Lifehacker
    Foodgawker
  • Save the resulting view as a new topic.
  • Start reading your topic in your library view.
  • If you like a particular story or fancy a beautiful recipe simply click on it to read the original, share it with others, or even star it.

As soon as you start interacting with Squirro you provide the platform with the context that matters for your particular interest. You can use the noise regulator in the view options to adjust the noise level and reduce the information overload.

Check out our example video on YouTube. The noise reduction regulator is based on Squirro’s patent pending Digital Fingerprint Technology.