This is the last part of the series on infobesity.

This is where it all makes sense.

This is where we win all or loose all.

The final piece of the puzzle, going from Possess to access

From access to excess

From excess to excise

and finally….From excise to EXCEL.

It used to be that knoweldge was power. Possessing knowledge meant that you, alone, knew who to talk to, what to talk about, what to decide, etc.

This time is a thing of the past.

The Web, Wikipedia, YouTube and your smart phone changed all that.

The information is now available to all who desire to know.

And with this abundance comes the required level of crap.

Back to my favorite analogy : music.

In the old days, music labels and publishing companies controlled the kind of music that was sold. They basically decided what we would listen to, what was worth purchasing. Today, any decent computer will allow any band to realise complete album with sound quality superior to a lot of album realised in 20 or 40 years ago.

Gone are the big studios.
Gone are the producers or sound engineers.

Here is the infinite universe of musical creativity.


Whether on Youtube,, bandcamp.comand or the individual bands’ website.

The old system had a way to filter crap from the start. Using THEIR filters, mind you, not ours.

The new system has almost no crap-filters. And it seems we had a very high tolerance for crap. Heck… tapes are coming back as a cheap alternative to CD manufacturing…unbelievable but true!

So, who is going to filter all this?

Too much music is, in a way, worse than not having enough.

Music executive used to EXCISE the crap from the rest for our benefit. What was left for us to buy in record stores was, well… available. The stress level was quite low. I remember when a group of friends decided from a collective : we would each purchase a different album and share the results every Friday night thereby decreasing the risk and increasing the amount of new music. A lot a taping would generally follow these listening sessions.

The same happens today with knowledge networks. Your knowledge network includes people you trust, people who read stuff you don’t, people who think differently and are willing to share their findings with you…and the world.

And hopefully, you will do the same, sharing your reflexions and findings with the world.

This part of the process to extract knowledge from the Web is now essential.

This part of the process cannot be accomplished alone.

But nothing is new. You used to do this before the Internet was omnipresent in your life! You used to do this when you did tape-trading, when you lent a book to a friend, when you passed last month’s magazine to a neighbour, when you photocopied a nice article for a colleague.

It is all the same !

New tools now exist to do this efficiently on the Web. No need to print anything. Sort it on Evernote, Pocket, Diigo or any other of the dozens tools. Sort it and then retrieve it whenever necessary.

The trick is to design a sorting/retrieving mecanism that suits YOU.

Stopping the compulsion to possess information (or music) takes some efforts.

We are not just used to this. Our feeling of false security has been deeply rooted in our psyche. But it is really similar to a huge moose trying to hide behind a tree. Stupid behaviour.


Accessing the vast amount of information (or music) takes almost no effort at all !

Creating an account on Spotify, Deezer or Apple music is completed in less than a minute.

Creating an Evernote, pocket or whathaveyou account is as easy.

Becoming overwhelmed is also very, very rapid. The excess is felt so rapidly and so completely that some people experience physical discomfort after a few weeks. How can we keep track of those 400 (or 4000 !) people on the Twitter thread? How can I reply to those hundreds of friends on Facebook, or those 1000’s contacts on LinkedIn?

We can’t !

This is when the excision becomes a necessity.

email tricks

Cleaning up our contacts, friends, pins, posts etc. is a huge relief.

Getting in touch with competent curators is also much a relief. These trusted people you choose to include in your knowledge network do the job for you. Some very smart people spend a lot of time on the Web reading, extracting, summarizing and re-presenting information.

Harold Jarche PKM model describes the three S : Seek, Sense and Share.

SEEK information via your knowledge network.

Make some SENSE out of it. The deep reflexion takes time but is the real benefit of having such a discipline approach to knowledge processing.

Finally, some people will SHARE. The best one are curators. They assemble information in such a way that it is digestable for the rest of us. A museum curator is responsible to assemble pieces of art into a meaningful collection. This takes expertise and knowledge. Visitors then benefit from this knowledge when they tour the museum.
Anyone who frequently goes to museum will slowly become more knowledgeable about Art.
Anyone who persists in doing so WILL become very knowledgeable.

I remember reading an expert saying that ANYONE reading 50 books on any topics WILL become one of the world expert in this field.
50 books.
How many boosk a year do YOU read ?
Malcolm Gladwell in his “Outliers” book mentions that a top athlete/musician/artist will have spent 10 000 hours to refine his craft OR 5 years working full time (40h/week).

The common point is that they pinpoint an area. Any top pianist in the world today is a top performer ..on the piano. Not on the guitar.
A star sprinter is rarely a star marathoner.
They voluntarily FOCUS on one discipline.

Why should YOU do differently as far as information is concerned?

We all need to focus on the type of information that is relevant for us. Or a few areas at most.
OR… use what others have already deciphered.
Books are great for that.
But books take time to write and be published. Any textbook, once published, is obsolete within a few years. Sometimes, they are obsolete as soon as they are available.
Why would you buy a book on recent Internet advances when everything about it is on the Web NOW ?
You need to find the right blogs, the right people talking about it etc.
And only then, will you go from EXCISE to EXCEL.

Once the process is complete, you will truly excel in your field.
The Montreal Marathon is held every Fall. About 20 000 people will run.
And only one will be the first to reach the final line.
Only one.
Going from EXCESS to EXCISE is the way to EXCEL.

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