First, go read Seth Godin’s post: Signal to noise
I agree, it is too much. Why has is gotten so loud? The answer is simple: Web 2.0 enables conversations and the more people and businesses that come to the party, the louder it will get.
So how do you deal with all of the noise? Listen for the echoes from the crowds.
I think that you have to start trusting the noise rather than trying to sift through it. The genuinely great ideas, articles, events, products, companies, people, etc. will naturally receive the votes of the crowd and create a “virtual echo” that is powerful enough to hear beyond the first post.
So consider your experience. If you subscribe to RSS feeds, don’t try to read everything. Skim the lists and then search for interesting posts across all of your feeds. Don’t try to catch up if you get behind. The good stuff will stick around thanks to the wisdom of the crowd.