I realized yesterday that my personal Twitter feed is getting too big. While I’m enjoying the random flow of information, articles, and chatter into my life, Twitter is also becoming a less useful communication tool. It led me to think about how as old information sources wither away or become less important (the newspaper (unfortunately) and the nightly voice of God newscast), we’re using the same old tools and methods to manage the new information sources. We’re creating piles to sort through at a later time, not actually helping information and channels converge.  In the last 24 hours I’ve noticed two items that are likely to contribute positively to how we manage this glut of new information.

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The first is Media Cloud, a Project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. Essentially, the project (in its infancy) is attempting to understand how information is flowing and to visualize it. It’s reaching out to the interwebs community and asking for research ideas, what information needs are out there, and trying to collaboratively solve them. It’s worth checking out.

The other, which is likely more game changing in the short-term, comes from Google. Google Voice seems poised to change how we view voicemail, SMS text messages, international calling, etc. by combining all of our telephone numbers into one pipeline. By unifying and transcribing voicemail, blocking telemarketers, and pulling texts into the realm it seems to be a means of simplifying many pipelines into one.  Additionally, one has to wonder how long it will be before Gmail and the Google Calendar apps are tied in, creating a master dashboard for your life. David Pogue wrote a nice piece on Google Voice in today’s New York Times.

Until it’s available to a larger audience, I’ll continue avoiding overload the old fashioned way by sorting through my RSS Feeds and Twitter to figure out which of @TheMime, @NHL_Updates, @Siriuslithium, or @HenkTerHeide gets voted off my Twitter island.  Or worse yet, moved to a second Twitter feed.

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