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Set up a real-time search, filtered by multiple criteria, subscribe to results via RSS or email alerts. -- Howard

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Infotention
Managing attention & information
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Saving-Enhanced Memory

Saving-Enhanced Memory | Infotention | Scoop.it
With the continued integration of technology into people’s lives, saving digital information has become an everyday facet of human behavior. In the present research, we examined the consequences of saving certain information on the ability to learn and remember other information. Results from three experiments showed that saving one file before studying a new file significantly improved memory for the contents of the new file. Notably, this effect was not observed when the saving process was deemed unreliable or when the contents of the to-be-saved file were not substantial enough to interfere with memory for the new file. These results suggest that saving provides a means to strategically off-load memory onto the environment in order to reduce the extent to which currently unneeded to-be-remembered information interferes with the learning and remembering of other information.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Curation tools, especially Diigo, Delicious, and Scoop.it, are an essential part of my daily practice. This study offers evidence confirming my hypothesis that curation/saving resources has cognitive benefits.

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Turn Google Docs Into an RSS Reader with ImportFeed

Turn Google Docs Into an RSS Reader with ImportFeed | Infotention | Scoop.it
This tutorial shows how to use a Google Docs spreadsheet as an RSS Feed reader (see example). You can aggregate news feeds from different sources into one spreadsheet (similar to alltop, popurls or addictomatic) and then publish it as a web page.

If you have a blog, you can use the same trick to embed RSS feeds in web pages. The Google Docs approach is preferred over Flash or Javascript widgets because here you have complete control over the presentation layout and formatting of content.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Another slightly geeky but potentially useful approach to rolling your own RSS feed aggregator (like the previous entry, this one came as a tip from one of my Stanford students, Fang Li).

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Stephen Dale's curator insight, December 11, 5:16 AM

How to roll your own RSS reader!

 

Reading time: 10mins

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What It's Like To Get A Master's Degree In Mindfulness

What It's Like To Get A Master's Degree In Mindfulness | Infotention | Scoop.it
To master mindfulness, you do not need a master's in mindfulness. But starting this year, those who want a professional degree in the meditative practice can get one.

In a first-of-its-kind program in the U.S., Cambridge, Mass.-based Lesley University this year began offering a Master of Arts in Mindfulness Studies. The degree requires two years of study and 36 credits at $925 a pop (that's $33,300 if you're counting). Course work is a mixture of theory and practice. Readings include books published by the forefather of mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and studies about the effects of meditation on health, education, and business. Other requirements include an internship, capstone project (thesis), and attending a week-long silent retreat.

But, beyond adding an M.A. to one's accolades, what are the applications for a degree in mindfulness?
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I have no problem with mindfulness becoming trendy on campuses, from preschools to master's degree programs. As the article notes, you don't have to study for a master's in order to benefit from mindfulness -- the cognitive element of infotention -- but why not?

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T5 - Top Tools for Communication PROs

T5 - Top Tools for Communication PROs | Infotention | Scoop.it

Tools for managing social media practices.

Howard Rheingold's insight:

This is definitely on the tool side of infotention, although the cognitive and tool aspects of infotention practices are intertwingled. Robin Good is astute and tireless finder, user, and curator of media tools. The tools in this collection at this moment for example: "Advanced custom multi-language search engine for Twitter, Schedule your best content across all of your favorite social media channels, Create customized picture quotes to share on social media, find relevant content to schedule and share on Twitter, create your customizable embeddable official Twitter stream..." 

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Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving

Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving | Infotention | Scoop.it
Many teachers we know enjoy teaching students how to wield one of the most powerful thinking tools: metacognition, or the ability to think about your thoughts with the aim of improving learning. A metaphor that resonates with many students is that learning cognitive and metacognitive strategies offers them tools to "drive their brains." The good news for teachers and their students is that metacognition can be learned when it is explicitly taught and practiced across content and social contexts.

A student who is excited about being in the driver's seat and steering toward learning success may well be destined to become an independent thinker on the way to charting a responsible course for school, career, and life. Being metacognitive can be likened to being more conscious, reflective, and aware of one's progress along the learning path. Teachers have told us how they feel an extraordinary sense of pleasure teaching their students useful strategies that can be applied to all aspects of their lives in and outside of school.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Short, informed article, free of neurobollocks, with 5 practical steps for teaching metacognition -- withlinks to  useful resources

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23 Seldom-Used Ideas for Utilizing Twitter Lists

23 Seldom-Used Ideas for Utilizing Twitter Lists | Infotention | Scoop.it
If you’ve read any lists on Twitter tips, whether for beginners or for experts, you’ve likely come across the common advice to use Twitter lists.

Twitter lists are useful, helpful, and effective for managing and optimizing your Twitter experience. There’s also a number of unique ways to go about them.

I researched the topic and found 23 popular and outside-the-box ideas for what to do with your Twitter list. See what I learned in the post below, and add your favorite uses in the comments.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

When I teach infotention, I show learners how they can curate Twitter lists and use Paper.li to turn the lists into daily briefings by networks of experts on topics of their choosing. Curating, focusing, distilling, and formatting incoming streams of information about precisely the topics that interest you at any time is a key infotention skill. h/t Tracy Vu

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NLafferty's curator insight, October 28, 5:16 AM

It's worth having a look at Howard Rheingold's comment on this post where he mentions that he suggests to his students creating Twitter lists and then using Paper.li to create a briefing around the topic or network.  It's not something I've done but sounds like an effective way to curate #FOAMed resources insights to students and trainees. 

Stephen Dale's curator insight, October 28, 10:59 AM

Twitter Lists are a great way of tracking people and conversations by theme or meme. Easy to set up, and easy to maintain. I've found them to be a very useful tool for the Curator's toolbox.

 

Reading time: 8 mins

Alex Grech's curator insight, October 28, 12:51 PM

For most people who use Twitter for lifelong learning purposes, the 'Eureka' moment tends to be the day they understand how to put lists to good strategic use.

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12 Tech Tools Productivity Experts Can't Live Without

12 Tech Tools Productivity Experts Can't Live Without | Infotention | Scoop.it
Ever wonder which tools super-productive and über-organized people use to get things done? Fast Company contacted 10 productivity experts, and asked them which apps or tech tools help them get through their day.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Again, this is from the productivity world, and infotention has an important core related to attention -- not just tools, not just efficiency, but awareness and metacognition -- but I know that at least a couple of these tools help me handle my info-flow (I use Slack and Skitch regularly)

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Stephen Dale's curator insight, October 21, 5:08 AM

Some productivity tools here that I've not come across before. However I use Slack and can recommend this a useful information aggregation tool.

 

Reading time: 5 mins

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Wisdom in the Age of Information: Maria Popova (Future of StoryTelling 2014) - YouTube

See the rest of our 2014 FoST films here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

“We live in a world awash of information, but we seem to face a growing scarcity of wisdom,” states Maria Popova, Founder of the website Brain Pickings. Popova believes it’s the storyteller’s role to interpret information and shape it into wisdom for the rest of the culture to share.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Maria Popova is a great curator. Brain pickings is a great infotention tool -- she spends a lot of time and well-thought-out decision-making about what is good to share. 

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Peter Skillen's curator insight, October 17, 11:53 AM

An absolutely clever story about the 'ladder of understanding' in which Maria Popova describes 'information as cheap and wisdom as expensive'. Share this with your students/colleagues if you are discussing 'digital citizenship' or even if you're not. :-)

Peter Sampson's curator insight, October 21, 2:57 PM

fantastic! Think how this relates to the work of church leader. Storytellers.

Peter Sampson's curator insight, October 21, 2:58 PM

the invaluable task of storytelling

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How To Train Your Attention and Be Effective When Working Online

How To Train Your Attention and Be Effective When Working Online | Infotention | Scoop.it

"People who are doing social media for more than 35% of their job need a certain set of tools and tips to manage their time.   But, more and more smart nonprofits are enlisting their staff members as champions online and are using their personal brands and networks in service of the organization’s goals.   These staff members most likely do not as much dedicated time to spend on social media – so there is the potential of getting overwhelmed.   So, here are  a few tips for those find they need to “squeeze in” social: -"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Beth Kanter specializes in social media training for nonprofits -- and she knows what she is talking about. Here are some practical infotention tips for nonprofit workers (which are generally good for anybody)

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David Stewart's curator insight, November 5, 11:50 AM

the pie chart looks about right... in fact what am I doing right now...?

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Why Evernote is Amazing · alicedaer · Storify

A collection of articles, blog posts, tutorials, and ideas for making Evernote your best friend ever.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Alice Daer is an experienced educator -- I've followed her for years. Here she Storifies a compendium of resources about using Evernote, which has become one of my most used infotention tools.

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Stephen Dale's curator insight, September 7, 7:27 AM

I couldn't survive with Evernote, but this is a useful introduction to anyone who hasn't yet discovered this powerful information management system. It's also a good example of how to use Storify as a tutorial tool. 

 

Reading time: 10mins

NLafferty's curator insight, October 28, 5:25 AM

Evernote is one of the tools I highlight the usefulness of to students. Great list of tips and resources highlighting how to get the best of it including linking it up with IFTTT.

David Stewart's curator insight, November 5, 11:47 AM

had it for ages - must learn to use it properly, anyone else feel the same?

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HowTo: EC2 for Poets

"EC2 for Poets is a tutorial that shows you how to set up a server in Amazon's "cloud." All you need is a net connection, credit card, and a basic understanding of how to use computers.

Initially, the goal for EC2 for Poets was to make cloud computing less mysterious by helping people get through the process of setting up a server on Amazon EC2. The newest version is more than an experiment, it's a platform for applications. We're starting with the RIver2 news aggregator, an app that reads RSS feeds you're subscribed to every ten minutes and posts the new items at the top of the list. It's also a podcatcher and a photo aggregator, supports realtime updating and OPML reading lists."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Part of infotention is internal -- training attentional skills to cope with and master the tsunami of incoming information provided by digbital media. And part of infotention is mastering information and knowledge handling tools. Dave Winer has been a pioneer in creating such tools -- for blogging, RSS, podcasts. Here he delves into one of the most powerful tools -- setting up a server in the cloud. If we are to remain empowered to create World Wide Webs, search engines, and other knowledge innovations -- rather than depending on governments or corporations -- it is incumbent on us to master the art of the platform.

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Tip for Getting More Organized: Don't

Tip for Getting More Organized:  Don't | Infotention | Scoop.it

How much time do you spend each day getting better organized? Cut it in half.


When it comes to investing time, thought and effort into productively organizing oneself, less is more. In fact, not only is less more, research suggests it may be faster, better and cheaper.


IBM researchers observed that email users who “searched” rather than set up files and folders for their correspondence typically found what they were looking for faster and with fewer errors. Time and overhead associated with creating and managing email folders were, effectively, a waste.


By combining threading with search, technology makes an economic virtue of virtual disorganization. The personal productivity issue knowledge workers and effective executives need to ponder is whether habits of efficiency that once improved performance have decayed into mindless ruts that delay or undermine desired outcomes. Are folders and filing systems worth fifteen to twenty-five minutes a day of contemplative classification and sort for serious managers?"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I'm an inveterate organizer of information into folders and folders within folders. I did that for years before search came along. Old habits die hard. But really -- why organize when you can tag and search? Social bookmarking alerted me to the usefulness of tag-and-search (what links did I tag with BOTH "curation" and "infotention"?) and now I ask myself, when I start to folder-within-folder, whether tag-and-search might be more efficient. h/t Sahil Gupta

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magnus sandberg's curator insight, August 7, 6:14 AM

Freedom!

JoseAlvarezCornett's comment, August 28, 9:16 AM
Few month ago I began to tag every pdf/doc file I download. For every file I think about 3 key words and I add them to the file name. It makes searching for pdf files a much easier task.
Anne-Marie Armstrong's curator insight, October 24, 11:56 AM

I am going to try just tagging.  It will be easier but a change in habits.

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I Dare You To Watch This Entire Video - YouTube

"Can you make it through the whole thing?"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

An infotention exercise, serious and funny at the same time, from College Humor. Can you watch it for 3 minutes without your attention fleeing?

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Miloš Bajčetić's curator insight, June 26, 12:09 PM

Must see! ;-)

Katie Muirhead's curator insight, August 19, 12:20 PM

I admit, I couldn't make it. Probably the best example of how our attentions bounces around!

David Stewart's curator insight, November 5, 11:56 AM

OK it's not impossible but there is some wisdom there. On the upside, for some reason the YouTube player speaks french

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Benefits of Breathing: The Scientific Benefits of Breathing INFOGRAPHIC - Emma Seppälä, Ph.D.

Benefits of Breathing: The Scientific Benefits of Breathing INFOGRAPHIC - Emma Seppälä, Ph.D. | Infotention | Scoop.it
The mind has a terrible time telling itself what to do. But this is where the breath comes in. I’ve summarized research on breathing techniques and the many ways in which they can impact our health and our well-being in one simple infographic.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Yes, infographics are overdone and a little cheesy, but the internal aspect of infotention involves mindful seeking and processing of information -- and breathe is a key to mindfulness. Especially online! Take a few seconds to breathe deeply and consciously a couple of times an hour when you are sitting or standing in front of your computer screeen.

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Create an RSS Feed Reader Using Google Spreadsheet

Create an RSS Feed Reader Using Google Spreadsheet | Infotention | Scoop.it
I’ve tried various feed readers through the years, but I’ve honestly never been able to settle on one that I want to use every single day. However, I figure if I can create a stream of my favorite websites and news sources right inside Google Spreadsheet — where I go every single day anyway — then it’ll be far more likely that I’ll actually check out the feeds and read some of the updates. So, with that motivation in mind, let me show you how I pieced together my very own home-grown feed reader, and how you can too.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

This is toward the geeky end of the spectrum, but for those who are comfortable playing with information tools, this is really an ingenious combination of RSS and spreadsheets.

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15 Twitter Hacks That Will Turn You Into a Twitter Ninja

15 Twitter Hacks That Will Turn You Into a Twitter Ninja | Infotention | Scoop.it
You learn these 15 Twitter hacks.

Once you pick up on these power user features, you’ll become a Twitter ninja in no time.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

OK, the title is cheesy. "Ninja" is up there with "awesome" as words not to use for a few decades. Knowing how to use Twitter is one of the top two or three tool-oriented infotention skills. This list of 15 Twitter hacks is powerful, from lists to advanced search.

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Stephen Dale's curator insight, November 22, 10:31 PM
They're not hacks, and they won't turn you into a "ninja", but they do provide some useful info on how to use Twitter search. #socmed
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The Secret Powers of Chrome's Address Bar

The Secret Powers of Chrome's Address Bar | Infotention | Scoop.it
Chrome's address bar doesn't do much at a glance. Type in a URL and you're taken to a web site. But it can do a lot more if you know how to use it.

We've covered plenty of great Chrome tricks over the years, but the address bar has always been a bit neglected. You can actually do a ton with it though, so let's dig into some of the better tricks.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

The web browser is our most frequently used information tool, yet few users tap into all the power build into browsers. On the info-tool side of infotention, knowledge of how to use Chrome's Address Bar definitely qualifies as a power tool.

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Study Proves Why We Need Digital Literacy Education | DMLcentral

Study Proves Why We Need Digital Literacy Education | DMLcentral | Infotention | Scoop.it
Laptops do not make students take notes in a particular way. Rather, they are tools that enable a wide range of note-taking practices, including both summary and synthesis as well as verbatim transcription. Like any other tool, however, students need to be trained how to use them effectively. As this study suggests, when students are not provided this training, they may develop habits that may not be beneficial to their learning. 

It is our job as instructors to identify beneficial habits and teach students how (and when) to apply them. That we do not do so is not a failure of laptops or students, but a failure of their education in an increasingly digital society.

I am not criticizing Mueller and Oppenheimer's research, only the implications they draw from it. The correlation between laptop use and verbatim note taking is incredibly useful information for it allows educators to address how students use their tools. It certainly does not suggest that laptops are "harm[ful]" or should be restricted. The "pen" is not "mightier than the keyboard."

Rather, it demonstrates the need for explicit instruction in how to most effectively take notes, either by pen or laptop. In other words, it points to the need for digital literacy instruction. Indeed, because text can be input into laptops faster than by hand, these tools actually provide a potential benefit to note-takers: the ability to take more notes. This feature of laptops, combined with instruction in how to take notes, could make these tools more effective than pen and paper for learning, not less.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Knowing how to use a laptop to take notes is an important element of infotention literacy -- as is knowing why this is so.

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Note-Taking Jujitsu, Or How I Make Sense Of What I Read

Note-Taking Jujitsu, Or How I Make Sense Of What I Read | Infotention | Scoop.it
So notes are important, we get that. But how do we use them to their utmost? How do we even gather them together and store them? How do we use them for our writing, for our thinking? These are all important questions which I don’t feel have been properly answered, and where those answers have been given, they’re buried or hidden somewhere out on the internet.

I want this post to get into the weeds about how to get your materials off a Kindle device, how to store it usefully on a Mac (my apologies, PC/Linux users), and how to repurpose those notes to be creative, to write, and to think.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Taking notes on digital texts is an issue. Diigo is great for highlighting texts and sharing your highlights,  leaving and responding to sticky notes on texts with those in your Diigo group. This article delves into extremedetail about note-taking, including Evernote, DevonThink, Tinderbox, and Kindle.

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NLafferty's curator insight, October 25, 6:18 AM

Interesting workflow, seems quite complex but maybe worth a try and provides a helpful insight in to how you can get round the Kndle limit on exporting your book clippings.

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How To Hack Your To-Do List - YouTube

We talked with David Allen, the author of, "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity," about how to hack through your to-do list and free up your mind to focus on what's actually most important to you.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

"Getting Things Done" is much more about productivity than mindful attention to information, but this 1 1/2 minute video does connect with the idea of infotention -- and the animated graphics are very nicely done.

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Measuring Students’ Self-Control: A ‘Marshmallow Test’ for the Digital Age

Measuring Students’ Self-Control: A ‘Marshmallow Test’ for the Digital Age | Infotention | Scoop.it
Researchers hope that being able to accurately measure how well students resist digital temptations will help them learn about how "academic diligence" features in later life success.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

DIligence in the face of distraction is especially important for today's students. This long article about recent research discusses a new test that claims to predict academic achievement, based on measures of attentional self control (remember the famous "marshmellow experiment?") Is choosing not to be distracted a learnable skill? That question is at the heart of infotention.

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The History of Cognitive Overload | Farnam Street

The History of Cognitive Overload | Farnam Street | Infotention | Scoop.it
Highly successful people have many of the daily distractions of life handled for them, which allows them to better focus their attention.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I still have not read Levitin's book, "The Organized Mind: THinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload" -- it's on my large and teetering stack of books to read. This very long review, with multiple passages from the book quoted, offers many useful infotention tips. At the very beginning, the reviewer calls out Levitin's use of Herbert Simon's strategy of "satisficing":


"Satisficing is one of the foundations of productive human behavior; it previals when we don't waste time on decisions that don't matter, or more accurately, when we don't waste time trying to find improvements that are not going to make a significant difference in our happiness or satisfaction."


In other words, satisficing can be an effective infotention strategy.

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Designing a Personal Knowledgebase

"Since so much knowledge is now digital, there is no shortage of material from which I can learn. On the contrary, I’m usually drowning in too much information. But that’s a discussion for another day. For me, right now, the major problem is that I lack an easy and effective system for capturing and recording my learning. My memory alone will not suffice. What I need is a personal knowledgebase, which I define as an external, integrated digital repository for the things I learn and the resources from which they come.


Many have tried to solve the problem I’m encountering now, and numerous digital solutions exist. Some of the most popular options include Evernote, Devonthink, and Voodoo Pad. Over the course of my graduate studies, I’ve tried many of these programs, but all have fallen short of what I really need, given my own workflow."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

The border between infotention (managing attention and digital media information flows ) and personal knowledge management (organizing and refining information for one's own storage, retrieval, pattern-building, connection-making needs) is a fuzzy one. This graduate student appears to have tried some of the best available tools, including Evernote and Devonthink (which I have used extensively) and Voodoo Pad (which I haven't tried). Finding them all inadequate, Alex lays out requirements for a "personal knowledgebase." 

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AlisonMcNab's curator insight, September 6, 4:48 PM

Informative post from @Howard Rheingold

Stephen Dale's curator insight, September 7, 6:41 AM

We live in an age where information is all around us, all of the time. Sometimes we seek it out, other times it comes to us, uninvited. The only way we can learn from and apply this information (actionable knowledge) is by having the tools and know-how to be able to sort, sense, filter, organise and ultimately retrieve this information within a context where it can be applied.

 

There are lots of tools out there that can help us (I use Evernote, Mindjet Mindmapping, Social Bookmarking and Blogging as my core tools), but I haven't yet found the El Dorado of a single tool/application/software that can do it all. This article from Alex provides an outline specification of the ideal system. An opportunity for an entrepreneur - perhaps, to satisfy what I think is a growing need amongst most people grappling with the information torrent.

 

Reading time: 20mins

Crystal Renfro's curator insight, September 8, 2:48 PM

This individual does a very detailed job both describing his workflow and what he would like to find in a one-stop shop tool.  All the myriad of comments opens a new flood of tools and ideas to consider.  It reiterates my belief that building interfaces between powerful tools that achieve different purposes may be the way to go... it goes back to what docear.com is trying to do.... the downside is that interfaces break very easily as different apps upgrade their products and thus makes the interface unstable.

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The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload | KurzweilAI

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload | KurzweilAI | Infotention | Scoop.it

."In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I've not read this book yet, but I've ordered it. I enjoyed Levitin's previous book, "This Is Your Brain on Music," and although I am skeptical of what has been called "neurobollocks," I suspect this will be a good addition to my small infotention library.

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JoseAlvarezCornett's comment, August 28, 9:07 AM
Howard, besides your own book and this one, can you list five must read books about infotention?
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Multitasking, social media and distraction: Research review

Multitasking, social media and distraction: Research review | Infotention | Scoop.it
2013 research review of major studies relating to multitasking and distraction, with an emphasis on young people and social media.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

A literature review of the not-yet-very-extensive research (about a dozen studies in this review) on attention and media multitasking.

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David McGavock's curator insight, July 24, 3:53 PM

Nice survey of the research on multitasking. We're just getting started...


"Clifford Nass, notes that scholarship has remained firm in the overall assessment: “The research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They’re basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking.” - See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/social-media/multitasking-social-media-distraction-what-does-research-say#sthash.I21dv2wV.dpuf";

Bodil Hernesvold's curator insight, August 6, 2:54 AM

Attention is important. This entry gives an overview of some research that has been done on multitasking.

Katie Muirhead's curator insight, August 20, 11:53 AM

As our lives are becoming increasingly technical, it is not surprising that research into media multitasking is becoming more widespread. This article is particularly authoritative as it has curated relevant university studies. It notes  that "people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They're basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking." This comment alone is enough to inspire me to both research this subject matter more, ans strive towards mindfulness myself!!