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Expert scoffs at concept of ‘information overload’ online

Mark Briggs, author of Journalism 2.0, says that social media plays key role in finding news

Expert scoffs at concept of ‘information overload’ online
Mark Briggs speaks at a panel discussion on the future of media organised by SAE Institute Dubai.

Journalist and entrepreneur Mark Briggs says that while there is a wealth of information available on the Internet, he doesn't subscribe to the concept that people are facing ‘information overload' online.

"I trust a guy who teaches at New York University, Clay Shirky, who's written some excellent books on this. He says there's no such thing as information overload, only filter failure. Even though we have an abundance of information that's now produced, we're only now developing the filters to find the really good stuff," Briggs told itp.net on the sidelines of a new media panel discussion yesterday, organised by SAE Institute Dubai to celebrate the launch of their digital journalism programme.

Briggs believes social media helps by being an information ‘filter' online and that a number of people are using Twitter and Facebook to find news now.

"You trust certain people to find the really good information you're interested in," he added.

Aside from being CEO and co-founder of content software firm Serra Media, Briggs is also a regular blogger and author of two books related to online journalism - Journalism 2.0 and Journalism Next. He is working on another book related to the entrepreneurial nature of journalism, which he believes will be the next big evolution in the field and argues that new media publishing platforms can thrive even without traditional old media backing.

"Look at the Huffington Post in the United States, which had no old media association and just three years ago started as essentially a blog; it now has a larger audience than the Washington post online. So you can certainly make it work whether or not you have old media backing," Briggs added. "The power is in the journalists' hands rather than with the media companies."

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