Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blog #3: Information Overload in Social Media

When discussing on the final project, our team went through a question that we found interesting but is seldom discussed on our class: information overload. We have focused a lot on how to provide sufficient information, but if fact, information overload also brings negative influences.

The first question is how detailed should the information be. Take the example of a NGO that is planning to provide information to its volunteers about an event on social media. Since volunteers are only a part of the audience, too detailed information may be so annoying for other audience that they will “dislike” it. But if the NGO doesn't provide the detailed and trivial information, volunteers may discontent because they do not get sufficient information. Our solution is to put more information on volunteer group page and less in public page, but we are wondering if there is better idea.

Similarly, frequency of tweeting or posting on Facebook is also necessary to be controlled. With tons of interesting things happen on Facebook and Twitter, an organization needs to show up from time to time on social media; otherwise it will be easily forgotten. But if they occupy all your News Feed, you will also not like them (actually I myself have dislike some pages because they are too “noisy”). So, is there a best frequency to show up?

Besides quantitative aspect, qualitative aspect is also important. Usually, most organizations will not always posting things directly related to themselves, but will retweet or talk about something else, for example, providing some tips. However, is it appropriate for a police department to provide recipe everyday (this is a real example in a city of China)? What is the ideal proportion for “unrelated” information?

Here I just throw out some questions about information overload. We can have more discussion on them.

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