Information
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Who’s Your Filter?

One of the ways in which people deal with information overload is to use a filter to screen out unwanted information and eliminate the amount of time spent on non-essential topics. Filters can take many forms but one of the most common is simply the “trusted source” — a person …

Information

In Search of the Right Metric

The Wisconsin DNR just kicked off its PR campaign for Operation Deer Watch this week. This program is designed to collect data about the state’s deer herd and it is used primarily to keep tabs on the overall deer population. This is serious business for folks who live in America’s …

Design

Humanizing the Big Numbers

This recent article from Fast Company provides some great examples of how to make the statistics of big numbers more meaningful to the average person. This is a great skill to hone. Relating events or ideas to common human experiences helps make these things more easy to to understand and leads …

Design
3

Channel Surfing Ain’t What it Used to Be

As I was flipping through the stations on the TV the other day, I became particularly aware of the slight delay between the time I pressed the button on the remote and the actual change of the channel. This is one of those minor annoyances that shouldn’t bother anyone but …

Information

The Art of the List

Lists have always been a great way of organizing your thoughts but in this era of ever-shrinking attention spans they can also make an effective communication tool. Here are the top reasons why I think lists work so well: Lists force writers to organize their thoughts. The basic structure of a …

Information

Information vs. Distraction (Part 1)

In a recent commencement speech to the graduating class at Hampton University in Virginia, President Obama told students: “You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that …

Information

The Data Uncertainty Principle

Every now and then I’ll finish a big reporting project and the project lead will send me a follow-up comment like: “Here’s hoping everything’s perfect!” For some reason this always strikes me as a very weird thing to say. Of course it isn’t going to be perfect … it’s data. …