What’s trending now?
Curated information. It should not be new information to anyone that we are swamped with information. Lately some individuals and organisations are trying to start to sift through the heap of information by using new and innovative methods to present it so it can become useful, giving us tools to try and sort through the chaos.
Why it’s important?
We need to pay attention to this trend and take note of the ways we are interacting with all this new information. It is in our nature to always search for and try to regain stability when an onslaught of chaotic seemingly disconnected messages or events are presented, hence the trend.
What’s the butterfly effect?
The more information is available to us the more accurate our research can become, the more precise our marketing tools and what’s more we may even discover patterns in our social structures, by using these new tools, that have before gone unnoticed. We may even be able to prevent atrocities and tragedies.
Based on what search terms and key words people type in Google’s search engines, they can predict trends. The possibilities to predict patterns and trends based on keyword searches seem endless,http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends, however one trend caught my eye they can now predict flu outbreaks with very high accuracy http://www.google.org/flutrends/
Why is this important?
For epidemiologists, this is an exciting development, because early detection of a disease outbreak can reduce the number of people affected. If a new strain of influenza virus emerges under certain conditions, a pandemic could ensue with the potential to cause millions of deaths (as happened, for example, in 1918). Our up-to-date influenza estimates may enable public health officials and health professionals to better respond to seasonal epidemics and pandemics.
Recorded Future is actually working with technology that continually scours the web for information and patterns to try and accurately predict the future. They offer alerts on topics such as financial markets, geopolitical news, industry changes, public figures, technology and information security
In aTED.com talk, David McCandless, a data analyst, proposes that we use our eyes to try and make sense of all the data we are bombarded with. We need to portray the data visually to make sense of it. When we view data like this it becomes much easier to see patterns and relationships within data sets or focus only on the information that we need. See some of David’s work on http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/ and http://www.davidmccandless.com/
Even the father of lateral thinking, Edward de Bono, has a new book out ‘Six Frames for thinking about Information’. In which he tries to give us practical thinking skills for sifting and filing info. The six frames are:
- Triangle: Purpose. Why do I need this information?
- Circle: Accuracy. Is this information accurate?
- Square: Point of View. What other ways can I look at this information?
- Heart: Interest. Does this interest me, pull at my heartstrings?
- Diamond: Value. Was this valuable information?
- Slab: Outcome. What is the outcome or conclusion about this information?
Tools like these are useful for individuals faced with a daily onslaught of information.
The global hot spots
The trend is popping up in countries and people groups that are more online than others. Places such as Europe and states. All though this is not to say that curated info is not something we in South Africa should not take notice if we want to be a player in the global market. And after all we are all connected to one another more than we ever thought possible. Flu trends in Asia have a way of flying over here.
By: Pierre Du Plessis
Pierre is a communicator, a dreamer and a troublemaker. He loves how we are all connected in more astounding ways and more than we ever thought. He is completely obsessed with life in contemporary culture and he wallows in new ideas and marvels at how they can restore and re – create our world.