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Executive advice: Revival of the two-way conversation


The challenge today is not a lack of information, but an oversupply of data and sources of information, writes Ahmed Sultan bin Sulayem.

November 13, 2013 12:34 by

This is an introductory column by Ahmed Sultan bin Sulayem, executive chairman at DMCC, the UAE’s fastest-growing and largest free zone. 


Before the advent of the internet, those in search of information were forced to rely on traditional channels of communication, such as newspapers, magazines or television. We had to accept that the providers of such channels had political and commercial alliances that affected the tone of reporting and, therefore, the voice of challenge or ‘right to reply’ lay very much in the individual editor’s in-tray. Potentially, even more revealing was that in order to feel that our views were heard or enforced, we would find ourselves drawn to those channels whose views echoed our own and, as a result, we only read what we wanted to read and constructive public debate was lost in the wilderness.

Today this has changed, as real-time information is available everywhere, even on a mobile device that fits in the palm of your hand.  With the advent of social media and social networks, the ‘right to reply’ has been liberated from the editor’s in-tray and can be directly sent to our own personal networks before being retweeted to million others within seconds.  Debate has come out of the wilderness and now shouts from any device connected to the internet.

The challenge today is not a lack of information, but an oversupply of data and sources of information. In order to deal with the information overload, do we run the risk of reverting to our old ways and only reading those views that adhere to our own or those that appear to be popular? Is it safe to assume that by following a twitter account with one million followers, the value of the tweets is greater than that of a tweeter with a single follower? Do we risk losing debate to the wilderness again…?

With this column I will attempt to share with you information that has value, it may have more significance to some, however, at the end of the day, this is natural and will hopefully lead to one thing – debate.

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1 Comment

  1. Girish R on November 14, 2013 8:11 pm

    A nice point of debate and surely thought provoking. I might be wrong in thinking, but to add to the information overload, there is a high proliferation of the BYOD that is mixing up the personal and professional life, increasing the risk information mash up.

    As for the human nature is concerned they will still be a bit biased and even with so much of data available they will read and follow that falls under their ideology. Extra information helps to know something that was never seen before and hopefully helps to make informed decisions/conclusions. A line has to be drawn somewhere, which probably is very difficult if not impossible.



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