Information diversity

While commuting this morning I listened to the latest episode of TWiT. In there the guys had a discussion about news papers vs. online news (around the 1h mark). Wil Harris brought up a very interesting point: Are tailored/personalised information (feeds) harmful? One “feature” of an old fashioned paper newspaper is that you get information that you are not interested in in the first place instead of just getting your usual food.

On one hand there is more information that ever before these days, so you have to stay focused and try to get the information you are interested in without having to spend much time searching for it. Internet, customised feeds and portals are good means of delivering these kind of information needs.

On the other hand it is quite essential for us to look beyond one’s own nose from time to time. To get new perspectives, to think out of the box, to build new analogies. IMHO this is the essence to progress and develop. You can do that by browsing a new paper, reading something totally different on the internet or zapping around in television a bit. Doing this for a couple of minutes each day helps to broaden my view.

Just staying with your primary interest doesn’t bring you further…

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