Today is Information Overload Day. It has a special place in my calendar because the day symbolizes everything I have been fighting for. It is a regular warning that we must take some time for ourselves and disconnect from all the screens and digital noise. Spend time outside, read a book, or just relax and clear your mind. Taking a break from the constant flow of information is vital, as is giving yourself a chance to reset.
Of course, this is easier said than done. I have personally struggled with keeping a healthy information diet for decades. The fact that I am now sitting here and writing this post means that I cannot disconnect. Not until I let the world know of my mission.
Last year, I set out on a path to help people with the best of my knowledge and skills. After a little more than a year and a half, I believe I am at least partially on the right track. I think I have found my true calling - creating tools and solutions that help people spend less time processing information online, not more. There is so much we as a society can achieve here - the technology and the knowledge too. Unfortunately, the incentives are skewed in the opposite direction - flooding people with information makes them crave even more, which makes them scroll and click around for hours. The sole benefactor is the provider of that information - profiting from banners or all sorts of advertising disguised as helpful content.
We can do better!
Our first hit in the right direction was when we launched Murmel in the middle of last year. With Murmel, we reversed the rules of the game. Instead of incentivizing people to scroll social media for news and stories, we bring the stories to them. Using the latest and greatest in tech, Murmel scours through millions of links a day and arranges them in a way that actually makes sense. The end customer receives a single daily email with all that valuable information in one place—nothing less, nothing more. We also went for a flat monthly subscription, which won’t incentivize us to trouble our customers’ minds with ads and useless fluff they’ve never asked for.
Murmel is fantastic, and we see a bright future ahead for it. But stopping there wouldn’t allow us to reach the full potential of what we can do to help combat information overload. A big part of the problem is that so much information is out there that it is easy for bad actors to sneak in. No wonder why terms like fake news have become a household topic.
We believe that combating fake news and information overload comes at the intersection of professional knowledge workers and artificial intelligence. We are taking the best of what we’ve learned from building Murmel and putting a part of our effort into creating a different solution for those people. We want journalists, researchers, and writers to use the full power of AI to get to the bottom of things and tell the world the story as it should be told.
Perhaps, I became too emotional. I’d spend the rest of the day walking in the woods and clearing my mind. My advice to you is to do the same.
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