FeedBeep is the final link between you and the wealth of information published on the internet. Hundreds of thousands of data feeds are available in RSS format, and now you can receive alerts about events worldwide — as they happen — right on your SMS-capable phone. Alerts can be set to go to your mobile device or our web messaging system based on your keywords or any time new information is posted to a feed.
Ok sure, this technology makes it that much easier to keep up to date on the stuff that matters to you but is this a good thing? This service is a part of a growing trend. It is yet another technology that makes it easier to find information you want (or, more accurately, makes it easier for that information to find you). All that is really great. My question is why this is such a great idea. Although there are people who need constant access to information all day, every day and on demand, there is also a growing risk of suffering an information overload.
My firm has introduced Blackberry and it has been marketed both internally and in the local marketplace and the next best thing since mobile phones because your email finds you and you are always in touch. I am not at all interested in getting one mainly because I don’t want to be found everytime I turn my device on using yet another mode of communication; email. As it is, I keep my mobile phone on just about 24 hours a day and can access my six or so email accounts using my phone. I also receive faxes to a cellular fax service. There are times when I don’t want to be reached and the last thing I need is incoming mail.
As we become exposed to more and more ways to be in contact (take roadcasting as an example) I believe that it is becoming more important than ever before to set boundaries and to create a quiet space or communications DMZ. If we don’t we are only going to do ourselves in and lose our sense of self in the sea of data out there.
In other words, RSS feeds are a nice filter until you have a hundred of them to go through every day. And then you need a new filter.