It is definitely time to turn down the volume, literally and figuratively. The volume of information is incredible.
And sadly the volume at which some of the information is communicated is too loud as well. Bold proclamations based on one blip of information are trumpeted across the landscape that picks it up…
Rumors and facts are treated equivalently since it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference.
Sadly, just about information lives forever whether it is true or false.
And this is really the problem with shared iteration. Early versions with inaccuracies or mistakes live on. Even if the old version is deleted, the old version lives on inside our own memories.
Often, we want to keep older versions of work around for reference to see how you arrived at that information.
There is a funny thing happening with versioning practices. A lot of the modern software is automatically saving old versions of documents, but a lot of people create their own copies of the documents with the handy dandy “Save As” command . The version of these documents can be on the local computer, local network or even on the web. The challenge arises later when you or some one else tries to reference the file and is not sure which was the really final version.
And you keep opening versions to check out the document and that changes the ‘Modified’ date for all the documents that you open to review.
That is one dimension of the volume problem.
Another side of the volume issue is that search engines use number if back links and amount of time on a page as a proxy for quality and ultimately page rank .
This works OK for older content, but I am not sure that this is the best way to find the best information on a particular topic.
Finally, with volume there is the concept of amplification. Content on the Internet is frequently amplified via social media. This is another proxy for content quality. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the content is good, but just that it played the social media game well.
While this is a useful indicator of content quality, it is more a reflection of social media skills and access.
While quantity and popularity are important, it is not the best way to measure quality. We need to turn down the volume to really be able to hear what is going on.