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How Much Information is Enough?

by Annie C Betteridge

Here’ s a stat that I bet you didn’t know – more than 350 million people (according to ComScore) read blogs each and every day. That’s more than the entire population of the United States. They spend anywhere from 5 minutes to hours of each and every day reviewing blogs by experts in fields they are interested in. That’s a big number and there is a very good reason for it. Information is a highly valuable commodity – the kind of thing that will either make or break a fragile young business like yours.

But, when does a lot of information become too much information? After all, we live in the Digital Age, where we can get just about anything we want (and a whole lot more) at our fingertips in seconds. If I told you to go read “everything” about your niche, you wouldn’t finish in 50 years, so how can we ever be sure we have enough to satiate our thirst for knowledge?

Break It Down

There are different kinds of knowledge and different fields that you can become an expert in. Personally, I don’t feel like I need to know everything about certain topics. For example, I’m very much a fan of blogging and article writing, but I don’t feel I need to know the exact technical details of how my blog installation works. On the other hand, I do like to read occasional blog posts by blogging experts about new marketing tactics, blogging strategies, and ideas about the industry.

What’s the difference? On one hand there is information about what I’m doing that is actually useful for my purposes – showing me new ways to do what I’m already doing and to expand on where my business is already headed. On the other hand there are a bunch of technical details that won’t actually enhance what I’m doing – just make things a bit more complicated.

Getting Your Information

So, what’s the best course of action? I recommend having a set list of information resources that you review on a regular basis. That’s why blog readers are such great tools. They tap into the resources you tell them to and retrieve new posts each day for you to read. You don’t need to keep scouring the Internet, searching for “blogging strategies”, because you already have a dozen of them at your fingertips each morning.

And, if you ever decide you need more information, the way the Internet works will provide additional benefits. After all, by reading someone’s blog or reviewing a newspaper column online each day, you’ll often find that the content links to a dozen more articles or blogs to get more information if you would like it. In short, the web of information is endless. The key to success then is to learn how much information you can absorb each day and when to say “that’s probably enough for now”.

Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2010