Being in the conference business I naturally pay attention to what other conferences do. The back-to-back 15-30 minute keynotes at ETech were great – I can’t remember the last time I actually sat through an entire morning of “keynotes”. One downside though is that speakers are not used to this and some are unhappy about it and spend an awful lot of their valuable 15 minutes talking about how they are not going to say something because they only have 15 minutes.
Lot’s of talk about ‘attention’ here at ETech. Thinking of attention in terms of economics is fascinating and thought provoking, but I have not quite got the essence of the excitement – just saw Tim Bray who also said he was not sure he got it, and everyone at my lunch table squirmed and then said they didn’t get it either.
The last thing I want is someone managing or making money or even knowing about my attention allocation. I don’t mind some – I am not averse to sharing certain preferences and behavior – but it is mine to share or not, and mine to monetize or not. As a consumer, what is the return? I get more personalized ads? I get stats on my own behavior? I get more people and advertisers paying attention to me? I definitely am not yet interested in making it easier for others to try to influence me based on some attempt at interpreting my activity/interest – is this a matter of not just being good enough at it yet? Maybe.
Will Attention Trust make a difference? I don’t know.
I understand that some people have more intense desires to communicate everything they think and do and will buy into attention for that, but surely that is an edge group…?
Attention and its scarcity and therefore value are important to pay attention to when deveoping products or businesses – but it is not all in the user’s interest.
Listened to Michael Goldhaber’s talk on the economy today at ETech. He’s the one who everyone quotes. Interesting talk, but I still don’t get it. I suppose the desire for attention might be as rational as the desire for money (although I hope not – it doesn’t seem as practical, you can’t simply bank attention over time without its value diminishing). Trading in “attention bonds” as Seth Goldstein wants, is a bit scary in that it depends on people who don’t think they get enough attention!? I thought Seth’s talk was the most enlightening on the topic.
And this will be it for the updates. See and Doc Searls’ comments on this.