Last week I was invited to present a lecture at the University of Johannesburg by the Department of Information & Knowledge Management where I am an alumni as well as currently registered for my Masters degree in Information Science. Contact Andrea Ferreira if you would to be added to their list for similar seminars held every couple of months.

The key points were as follows:

  • Information pollution is devaluing faster then ever before – So learn how to avoid or stop information pollution and information overload.
  • The numbers: Worldwide Internet users over 1.1 billion, worldwide cellphone users: over 2.5 billion, IM users approximately 580 million users, Social networking users approximately over 300 million
  • MySpace and Facebook are both huge social networks for teenagers and increasingly people over 35. MySpace is particularly strong in the entertainment industry and Facebook has loyal support from the university/college campuses while experiencing explosive growth in South Africa.
  • LinkedIn is the most useful social networking tool for professionals with over 12 million registered users worldwide and over 25,000 in South Africa. It’s changing the way recruitment is done as well as background checks on new employees. You may be interested in the excellent ebook: How to double your income in six months using LinkedIn.
  • The concept of Six Degrees of Separation and the Small World theory is the basis for the success of online social networks.
  • Google has been a key driver in the emergence of the long tail in marketing and onlie retail. Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace for $580 million in 2005 and people thought he was crazy and not long afterwards signed an exclusive deal with Google guaranteeing at least $900 million over 3 years. Facebook users generate about $6 in advertising revenue while MySpace users only generate about $2. And based on Youtube‘s value it’s 124 million unique monthly visitors are worth about $13.
  • According to Rich Shefren, the information age is dead and we now live in the attention age. People with elements of ADD have an advantage because they can focus for short periods and maintain productivity levels while switching between tasks. Ordinary people’s potential efficiency is reduced each time they change tasks by 20% to 40% depending on the complexity of the tasks at hand. The abundance of choice impacts decision making because most people are NOT trained how to evaluate source of information. And therefore there exists a Paradox of Choice.

Some recommended resources of where you can start research and narrow your focus on more valuable information are: Squidoo, ChangeThis, Google Answers and to a lesser extent Yahoo! Answers. And if you still have not make some time to read the entire Cluetrain Manifesto, published in full on the website. As a side note if you are interested in the rise of Blogging read the quarterly report by Technorati: The State of the Live Web.

You can view the presentation or download it from here: