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Twitter’s answer to information overload

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 7th September 2010

Twitter CEO Ev Williams has spoken out about what he sees as the challenge of information overload “in a world of infinite information”. He  cited Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who said recently that more information is now produced in two days than was in all of time before 2003.

As I said yesterday in a blog post about, information overload is becoming an increasing problem for Twitter users as follower numbers and the sheer volume of tweets rises.

Sender-driven media doesn’t scale

Williams compared the problem – and Twitter’s possible solution – to email: “The problem with email is that it’s sender-driven, and sender-driven media doesn’t scale,” he said. Recipients hate email for being spammy because “the sender is motivated to send as much stuff as possible because it’s free.” He argued that Tweeting and blogging has an advantage because it caters to both publisher and consumer of information because of a better target audience, allowing Twitter to scale better in an information overloaded world.

More features to filter content on their way

He also said that future products and features would help users filter information on the service – a pointer possibly towards automated curation solutions like “What we need to get much better at is scaling that system so you don’t have to pay attention to everything, but you don’t miss the stuff you care about,” he said.

photo credit: DaveCrosby

Danny Whatmough