1lb or 5lbs? Sifting is done the same way

Sifting the 5lb bag
Greg Lowe has a great post on social hitting the mainstream, called Social & the 5lb bag  Definitely go check it out. He makes quite a few good points about what he is seeing today (I am seeing the same stuff) and what to expect in the future from vendors.

While Greg takes a glimpse into the future, I want to look at the issue from what people have done in the past.  The questions that I like to ask is about how people have done it in the past and will people change their behavior and way of processing the task at hand because of a new technology.

In the case of "Social" they questions I have include:  How did people find information (knowledge) in the past?   How did they determine that the information/knowledge was good or bad or old?  Will people's behavior and techniques change because I have implemented a new technology?  I am not talking about what technology did they use, but what are the ways people determined that a piece of information / knowledge answers the question they have. Do these their techniques change now that we have "Social" as a technical solution? My answer?  no

I don’t think the path of determining valuable information / knowledge has changed.  What has changed over time (and will continue to change) are the methods used to find that information (search, activity streams, communities, FAQs, etc.  today .... what will it be in the future?.)  But the really big change is the amount of information / knowledge has grown, the ease of access to this information/knowledge is better, and the speed of change related to the knowledge has increased (debatable based on the subject matter).

Is that the definition of information overload?

Today people have to sift through more sources of information, sift through more information, and sift through that information with an eye on the age of that information.  And they have to do that using the mental tools they might have learned 5, 10, 20 years ago.  People adapt with each change, but many of the techniques remain the same.

I want to close quoting Greg's last paragraph
I’ve heard a lot of discussion lately around “System of Record” vs. “System of Engagement”. Can your social platform ever become your system of record? I’m not sure, but if so, the challenges to get there are going to be great. What is clear is systems of engagement will be generating knowledge, but what’s not clear is how that knowledge gets promoted to the system of record.
Greg rightfully states that one method to help the consumer in identifying valuable information is to tag the content in a system of record.  Interesting idea that could be very difficult to obtain.