Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Information today : are we users or products?

All has an starting point, and this can't be different.

For a long time I've been thinking on creating a Blog. I doubted about creating a professional one, a personal one, both or just one for all. I've decided for this last option, because finally it will be simpler. By using labels I can also differentiate professional and personal posts.

Another question is the first topic, and since a blog is nothing else that an information channel, I think that precisely Information can be a good first topic.

Today we have a lot of information sources. We are constantly managing information: receiving, processing, creating, searching, evaluating....With our friends, our family, our work colleagues, unknown people in social networks...  Information grows and grows and it seems everybody is happy to have access to more information, without thinking about its real value or the consequences of its use.

Anyway, something is changing constantly: our exposure level to information. More information, and earlier. Technology has a deep influence here. My almost 4 years old son sees and hears books in an iPad, uses Google and Skype, calls his grandparents by mobile. He says: "I want to see a video in internet", "Lets search for a game in internet", "Dad send me this by Skype" .... Amazing.

My question : are we really prepared for this? Do we have proper criteria to prioritize, to know where to pay attention or not, who/what should be trusted or not...? Are we educated to be really efficient information prosumers? Are we able to create real knowledge from here? Or are we maybe simply calling information to what it was simply data? Are we maybe changing the meaning of the information concept?

I'm recently more interested in the education. I guess this is normal when you have children and they start to go to school, and it is my case now with my son.  I've had the opportunity to recently discover Sir Ken Robinson. Fully agree with his view about our public education systems, and their impact on creativity and talent. Do not forget to see these two videos from him :  this TED video, and also this. In this last video he says "...our children are living in the most estimulating period in the history...". And it is supposed that their parents must take care of what they can access or not, based on principles probably not corresponding to this "new age". Other experts like Robert Roeser or Linda Lantieri talk about emotions, and how we educate our children for that.

Creativity, talent, emotions, knowledge. I think they are all related to information processes. The way we process information (in a whole sense) will have a direct influence on the capacity to create, feel and learn. If we are more and more exposed to more and more information, different and earlier than before, it seems we should pay more attention to the way people interact with it. Specially the way our children will interact with it.

I've recently started to read this book : The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry). Let me talk about it in my next posts. To finish this first post, I will make a final question, based on the same idea presented by the author when talking about Google: are we information users or information products? What do you think? Depending on your answer, you should also start to worry...