Attention to express value

Posted on Tuesday, 29 April, 2008 by


Having waded through feeds this is what stuck. attention_economy_overview.php
An overview of the attention economy by Iskold, on ReadWrite web (already last year)
We both enjoy and drown in information and the growth of info causes scarcity of attention. This is a problem for individuals as well as for organizations. The Attention Economy facilitates a marketplace where consumers agree to receives services in exchange for their attention. What we do online (what we browse, what we say and read) increasingly represents who we are and as such has real value. And what we do online can be (is) captured in data; this is called “attention data”. To ensure that businesses do not monopolize users information, AttentionTrust has outlined the basic consumer rights in the AttentionEconomy: control over your data; being able to move it; exchange it for value where you wish; and transparency.

Is this feasible? Iskold continues with some tech-talk; a lot is needed still to make this technically feasible. Another important point is Education: People need to be educated about the value of their attention and the principles of attention economy.

Actually this is not what I intuitively understood by the attention economy. I was thinking of how “attention”, people’s time and focus, is increasingly becoming scarce in anything we do. Instead of reading, we only skim. Have you struggled yourself to focus on the things you value? Had emails unanswered? Really nice projects die out for lack of attention?, not because people don’t want to give attention to it but because they cannot muster the attention needed. While we can seldomly pay attention to anything, we crave and beg for others to give it to us.

Shirky (“here comes everybody”) explained how the cost of social organization has come down dramatically. But the attention needed from people to really connect is still the same and just as “expensive” as ever, only now you have to compete with bigger competitors. To gain and collect a number of individuals attention is costing more energy than ever. So again, I wonder whether non-organizations, ultra-lights, or organizations formerly below the Coasean floor are as feasible as we now think they are.

So I understood the “attention economy” as a more useful way of expressing value and appreciation of projects and services, in the era of free-conomics, where money is no longer (if ever) a useful unit of measurement.

Posted in: learning log