The Problem with All You Can Eat Information

Social MediaEveryday we sit down in front of our keyboards ready to feast on the virtual information buffet on the internet. Our mind salivates as we open up a browser and prepare ourselves for all you can eat information. But like everyone else who slaps down their hard-earned money, you want to get the most out of your meal. How can you do that when it comes to the internet?

There is definitely a good and bad strategy when it comes to consuming the unlimited information that the internet has to offer. Yes, for those who are serious about getting the most out of all you can eat, you will need a strategy. There are two main problems with the internet buffet: too many choices, and you have a limited amount of time before you are full.

Internet BuffetFirst problem – Too many choices. It doesn’t matter what your topic, there are more sites than you have time to read. Your eyes glaze over as you imagine what you consume first. There are many choices but not all of them are good. There is some information that is the best you have ever had, and some you want to spit out the minute you taste it. With so many choices, you have to learn the tricks of the trade if you are going to feast on the best.

Trick #1 – How full is the pan? If a dish is great, then the pan is almost empty. You can see this with information by looking at the share numbers. When it says it has been tweeted 112 times that is a good thing it means the pan is half empty. Sometimes there are great new posts that haven’t been shared yet, but in general each share is like a vote. The people willing to share it means they tried it and wanted more. Learn to read the numbers and see the signs of good information.

Second problem – You get full. As mom used to say, “Save room for desert.” If you fill up on mediocre information you won’t have time for tastier information. You can only have so much on your plate so learn to be an information snob and discern the difference in quality. The plates at a buffet are never big enough and you simply can’t have enough time to read everything. Get picky, here is how.

Social Media Expert

Trick #2 – Look for the biggest guy in the room, what is he eating? Follow people who have been around for a while and who are well-known in the field you are interested in and see what they are reading. Trust and recommendations are a huge currency on the internet and there is a reason. These people have tasted many dishes and they know more than you. Look at what they have on their plate and try some.

You don’t have the time to try a bite of everything. Even if you try you will get full. Learn to start with the most popular dishes and then find the best consumers of information and eat what they are eating. If you do this you will be an all you can eat pro and get your money’s worth for the time you invest online. Hey, they may have to ask you to leave…

Smarter Strategies for an Information Age

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15 thoughts on “The Problem with All You Can Eat Information

    • Yes, once you limit your blogs then you have to be able to rate their quality and you should always keep a few slots open to try new blogs, maybe one a day. This will help you upgrade the quality over time of the blogs that take up those slots. Plus you have to save some slots for the people you are supporting. In the sea of information you have to have a strategy. Thanks for reading Garrett.

  1. People really are the best resource for information. I always find quality information from other quality information. For example, the best blogs and forums usually have links to the best websites. Sometimes the problems is breaking into that loop. This is where the rankings come in. If you “stumbled” there, chances are that it’s decent info. Much better than drilling into google.

    • I agree, information that has bee pre-filtered saves you time. As you get in tune with other people who you trust to only post good quality information you can start to look on their plate and know if they are sharing it that it is worthy.

  2. Pingback: The Problem with All You Can Eat Information « Krios Consulting

  3. I’ve noticed over the last several months my visits to my reader feed have decreased substantially. I mostly use it now to aggregate content for my clients. I’m too busy consuming blog feeds and tweets from the people I think are influential on Twitter or Triberr, with little or no reason to visit my reader feed. I just started using Flipboard more so hopefully that will bring the good stuff out of my reader feed again.

    So much content so little time, great post Ross.

    • Thanks Joe, This illustrates why going to trusted sources is a reaction to the time constraints people have and they filter through other people with out even knowing it.

    • Yes the key is saving time by looking for the signs of quality information. By doing this you can invest that time in good information, not in looking for good information by sifting through everything.

  4. Wonderful post and cleverly presented, Ross.
    Quality always trumps quantity.
    I needed to “Cull my Larder” in 2012 if anything was to ever get done.
    One move that has helped is Content Curation, and am now setting up WP Curation sites with the new Theme I purchased

  5. Sounds great Chuck, Curation is a big deal and really a strategy that is best done withing other strategies. We only get so much time so each project should not only be done efficiently but it should benefit other projects at the same time. Thanks for you comment.

  6. Pingback: The Problem with All You Can Eat Information | fabriziofaraco

  7. Great Post Ross. I feel that curation is a strategic move for “eating more and better”. I found Scoop.it very helpful for curators. It gaves you a list of “dishes” to eat accordingly to your keywords. what do you think of this tool?

  8. Pingback: Content Marketing Begins with Relevant Value

  9. Pingback: The Problem with All You Can Eat Information « Positively Social

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