Is it too easy to get hold of information? With online news and creative databases, google, technorati and consumer reviews sites like dooyoo all only a mouse click away, its easy to find yourself buried under a mountain of information.
But theres a difference between information and insight. The nugget that points us in the right direction towards understanding might actually be harder to find in a world of plentiful information.
I started as a Planner just as everyone in my first agency got hooked up to the ‘net in 1999. I’ve never known anything else. But in that same agency we suddenly had to tighten our belts and I lost access to all those juicy online subscriptions. I had to search twice as hard and be twice as creative to dig up something that was fresh and relevant. And I suppose I was more likely to actually go and talk to people, to put together a very quick and dirty focus group or literally stop people in the street.
I think there has to be a happy medium between primary and secondary information and an over and under supply of the same. Because theres a difference between knowledge and insight.
One thought on “Information Overload”
I agree you need to get the right balance between primary and secondary information. We’ve been talking a lot lately about the difference first hand experience of a target makes learning so much more visceral, tangible and rich, encouraging clients to get their hands dirty in carrying out qual for themselves.
Although received information (listening to presentations, reading reports, scouting the internet – even watching group discussions) can provide you with a lot, it does often encourage you to objectify the people you’re interested in. Whereas if you’ve spent time getting intimate, personally talking and interacting with them, objectification becomes difficult and the understanding you have is much more intuitive.