I've often thought that one of the most important qualities of a good user experience designer is crankiness, and the ability to see how much better things could be if they'd just given us a shot at designing them. From the Design of Everyday Things' long kvetch about how most doorhandles suck, to every UX designer I know having opinions on minutiae like the proper alignment of form labels (the proper alignment of form labels, the proper alignment of... oh, you get the point...)
ANYWAY, good user experience comes from a cranky acknowledgment of really bad user experience, and the desire to FIX THAT CRAP!
So, hey, Web 2.0 (or social networking, or rich internet applications, or user generated content, or whatever you want to call it) has been just great, hasn't it? I mean, YouTube, and FaceBook, and Digg, and Twitter, and StumbleUpon, and Furl, and Mixx, and LastFM, and Plurk, and Tumblr, and... pant pant pant...
ENOUGH! I'm drowning over here.
In connections, and features, and feeds, and User Generated CRAP!
Not everything needs to be experiential. Not everything (or everybody) needs their own social network. And, do I really need to know what all my connections are doing, where they are doing it, and how they feel at the time, every second of every day?
So, listen, help me out here. We're all cranky, perfectionists deep in our hearts aren't we?
It's gonna be about controlled filtering - metadata awareness. I don't think the system exists yet - but it somewhere between auto-filtering and curation. Let some stuff through that matches these criteria. A big part is something like facebook - recipricated (sp) trust - I have said I know you therefore I will accept communications from you. Violate that trust and I'll stop allowing you to send communications. Its a start.
As for communication overload - curation is a huge part of it, if that makes sense - gradually having the tools to narrow down what we are interested in without losing serendipity.