Four people now have sent me the link to Seth Godin’s “Bobcasting” post.
“I call it that because instead of reaching the masses, it’s just about reaching Bob.”
As a guy named Bob I couldn’t agree more. :-)
In all seriousness, though, his idea is dead on. The key is control. End-user control. Most information doesn’t need to be a popup, an email, or an instant message. It just needs to be out there so that when I’m ready for it I can get it.
As a sysadmin I see this a lot with folks building email alerts into everything. Some of my coworkers get hundreds of status email messages a week, saying everything is good and reporting statistics like number of new user accounts, queries per second, etc. Why can’t that be an RSS feed which can be read at their leisure? Why can’t the instant messages and email be reserved for the things that do really need attention?
 I was doing a lot of traveling last year and was looking for a book to read while flying home from San Francisco. I picked up Small Is the New Big and have been reading his blog ever since.