"Infotention" or scraping the cream off the top of what you want to know

2/27/2010 02:49:00 pm

How do you deploy your attention?

Infotention: “Honing the mental ability to deploy the form of attention appropriate for each moment is an essential internal skill for people who want to find, direct, and manage streams of relevant information by using online media knowledgeably.

Knowing how to put together intelligence dashboards, news radars, and information filters from online tools like persistent search and RSS is the external technical component of information literacy.”

It's getting harder to attend to something that interests you because of the abundance of information available to us on any topic. So, how do you get to the "best" stuff about something that interests you? Fast. Say, something like "augmented reality".

Howard Rheingold recently published a little "how-to" that answers that question. About 17 minutes long but it's well worth the time.

Seems to me if you're information literate you know how to dig up a wealth of information on any topic that interests you fairly quickly. If you're information fluent then you can probably arrange to have only the very best of what's out there delivered to you while you sleep.

Watch this, Howard's brilliant:

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  1. Three pieces of information in this video that stuck for me (outside of the how-to aspect):
    1) He's not offering this as a formula; he's offering it as a methodology. I'm altogether on board, and wondering how to get that point across. Last weekend, I sat in a session at CoLearning where the participants out-and-out said they wanted Michael Wacker to give them answers. Moving from the formula POV to the methodology POV will be a difficult transition for those already suffering information fatigue.
    2) You're exporting a problem to the future so you can come back to the here-and-now. I'm imagining a giant garbage dump of information building up in the future that I'll never get to. Rather than exporting, aren't we just deciding there are some things we don't have time to know?
    3) This is a mental, cognitive and social strategy. I like that.

    Thanks for posting this, Darren.