It seems there are a gazillion startups that aggregate data for us. We seem to have a never ending hunger for data and information. Where we once depended on storytellers, bards, poets, painters, writers, journalists, we now want to know everything written by anyone. Official information providers long thought they could keep a monopoly on ‘quality’ information, but it is now obvious that they have lost that battle. The consumer isn’t interested in “quality”. He wants to know it all.
This is a quote from one of Alexander van Elsas’s latest postings about the pointless need for real-time information consumption. One that most just might agree with. However, I disagree with the last two statements that Alexander made in the above quote. Consumers are still very much interested in “quality” information and they don’t want to know it all.
What Is Quality Information?
I feel that quality information is now very much dependent upon a consumer’s interests. For me, quality information is just about anything tech related, but more specifically mobile and social media information. The information that I can use and apply to my professional and personal life is quality information. In essence, if it doesn’t interest me and I can’t do a thing with it, it’s not quality information regardless of who wrote it. The same may apply for most consumers.
For the information that I do seek, there are those who I hold in high regard such as Louis Gray, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Sarah Perez, Steven Hodson, Chris Brogan, and many more. They cater to my interests and the information that I seek in ways that most others can’t. I don’t care to hear what everyone in my field is saying because I can’t apply everyone’s advice nor does everyone’s advice apply to me. Whether or not the information from an individual is considered “quality” information is also dependent upon my history with that person’s work. Also, the quality of information that I receive from these sources may be complete trash to others.
Do You Really Want To Know It All?
Quite frankly, I don’t. My brain explodes everyday with the amount of information that I consume that’s both work related and personal. I don’t have time to “know it all” and I don’t try to make time for it either. All knowledge is worth having, but all of it will come in due time. I don’t think any consumer wants to know it all. Why would you? Most only seek the information that they need to know now and maybe 1 or 2 months from now.
I think the better phrase would be that most consumers want to know enough and maybe a little more.
On the other hand, we use the platforms available such as Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, and others to spread our message. Yet one reason for spreading our message to the masses is to get feedback in return. There’s always a chance to learn something new when spreading your message and most of us will (and should) listen to the messages that are being sent back to us. This adds to our information library and helps to keep it up to date. These are the things that we really want to know.