Beyond Filtering: How To Turn Down Noisy Networks

filterlens From Google Wave to Mozilla (the makers of Firefox) recently announcing Mozilla Raindrop, developers are looking to take all of your communication platforms and turn them into one centralized inbox stream. The future is heading towards a new inbox, full of emails, tweets, direct messages, Facebook updates and whatever else they can throw in the mix, passed through a personalized filtering system. In theory, it sounds great. However in practice, it may be the most chaotic scene of communication we ever experience.

Our inbox is already full of Facebook notifications, Twitter alerts and direct messages, follower updates, and emails from marketing, PR, friends, and family. The mixture of all of these messages already looks like a nightmare in Gmail. In turn, it’s a nightmare just to get out of your inbox and feel productive after leaving it.

  • Would filtering these messages make a difference for your workload?

Relevance: What, When, and Why

Wave and Raindrop promise to highlight the messages that it thinks would be most important to you. Yet, how would these tools know what’s important to you? Importance changes on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. What was important yesterday, may be completely irrelevant today. Within mere seconds we could change our minds about the importance of personal messages over a mailing list that might generate tons of income.

Start By Filtering Your Own Actions

So is the solution filtering the messages? Or is the problem more “we’re signing up for too much”? Have you stopped to think about the myriad of ways you want to communicate with people? Why not simply stop following the noise. Turn off the alerts. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that you’re starting to delete without even reading the headlines for. Filtering isn’t enough anymore. You have to cut the noise out or prepare to forever filter the random knots of communication lines that will pipe into one huge mess…I mean tool.

What Do You Think?

chatWe brought these overloads on ourselves and there’s no denying that. I’m happy to see developers helping as best as they can, but I can’t help thinking that tools like Wave and Raindrop won’t help us cut the noise out. Filtering is great and definitely necessary next step for social media and most communication platforms we’ll be experience in the near future. We also need to do more to keep the noise from entering into our inbox in the first place, but filtering our own actions, instead of depending on these tools to solve all of our problems.

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