The information deluge is real, says Dr. Tracy Brower.

“From news media and social media to information from friends, family and work, there is never an absence of opinions or material to consume,” she wrote recently for Forbes. “It can be hard to tune in without becoming overwhelmed.”

In the workplace, indeed, the information flood has many looking for ways to keep from drowning. Recently, CCC partnered with analyst firm Outsell, Inc., on an information seeking and consumption study to learn how and how much copyrighted content is reused and shared in the workplace.

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Keeping Up with Information

The transition to hybrid and remote work has created new dynamics for information sharing. Employees surveyed responded that they are sharing more content with more people.  Executives shared content almost 20 times every week, usually with at least a dozen colleagues at a time. Collaboration tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams are rapidly growing in popularity.

A sociologist and author of two books exploring happiness, fulfillment, and work life, Dr. Brower says research points to ways we can all be more selective about how we consume information. She also urges us to push out of comfort zones to where innovation is found – at the edges.

“I love this idea of the adjacent possible,” she tells CCC. “The adjacent possible is the thing that might be different than what we know but related to what we already know.

“So when we push to the edges of our knowledge, we learn new things. Maybe I love my job in finance, and I realize that it has a real connection to talent and talent forecasting and how we compensate people. So I grow into an HR role, for example.”

Please note: this blog was updated to reflect results from the 2023 Information Seeking and Consumption Survey


Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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