Lord Frank Judd of Portsea visited the IOCT on 13 May 2008 to meet my PhD students and hear about various aspects of social media. Sascha Westendorf and Keno Buss are working on the DMU Creativity Assistant; Heather Conboy on e-learning; and Anietie Isong on African writers and the internet. Jess Laccetti, recently awarded her PhD, researched hypertexts by women.
We had a lively conversation with Frank, who is especially concerned about the impact of information overload on people in public life, such as MPs, who are committed to respond to the views of those they represent but find themselves drowning in email. This is indeed a concern, and one which the study of transliteracy needs to address. Maybe, as Jess suggested to me later, it's just a question of employing more people to filter material, but the financial implications of that are pretty large – especially considering recent debates in the UK over MPs' expenses. Intelligent agents are of course another solution, but at present a human filterer seems worth considering. Certainly, the function of the amplified editor / curator / filterer is increasingly important in a digital world.