It is *my* Attention data and identity

Assaf has provided a thought-provoking post about Structured Blogging. He discusses merits of XML / HTML vs. Microformats and has other critisisms of Structured Blogging (SB).

I’ve quoted this portion of his post (my bold) because it really nails the ‘it is my Attention data’ idea and how it relates to identity, something Joshua and I discussed with Dick Hardt and Kim Cameron in last week’s podcast, Attention and Identity:

“Think of the world from the eyes of a blogger. You want people to come to you, not come to them. You want your stuff in your place, not all over the place. It’s not just about ego, it’s about convenience, usefulness, identity and reputation.

If I’m writing reviews, I want to have them on my blog. I don’t have the time to put my book reviews on Amazon and my movie reviews on NetFlix and my cellphone review on Eopinions and my bicycle reviews on MTB. Besides being more convenient, it also establishes an identity. Would you trust my first NetFlix review if you knew I’m a top reviewer on Amazon? But you have no way of finding that out.

Reputation goes along with identity. If I know your eBay ratings, I’m more likely to want to buy something from you over CL. But right now all that useful information gets broken down into bits and pieces, that are then scattered over the net and placed in focused mega-site, instead of being owned by whoever created them.

The more services we have out there — reviews, listings, events, social networks, forums — the more time you spend putting content in the “right place” and the less useful that content is to you, simply because it’s fragmented all over the place.”

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Comments (6)

  1. Scott Gatz says:

    While I think Asaaf makes an interesting argument about structured data and reviews, I think you are confounding two things here.

    I think one of the problems we are all guilty of (including me) is to label everything as part of the latest hot topic. Attention IMHO is specifically talking about my usage/subscription data – in this case, we’re talking more about where content that I write lives. Also important, but I’d love to call that a different thing. We can do this without doing something about attention and vice-versa. If we combine both concepts, I fear neither will progress.

  2. the arguments are interesting nut in my mind a little muddled. a blog is a feed not a portal, isn’t it? the whole *point* is distributed micro-chunking. or is that like a wave particle duality think – its a feed *and* a microportal.

    but I dont want people to come to me. if i did i would obsess about page views, and only offer partial text feeds. No i am a blogger and i want the information i create to go those who think its interesting and or useful.

    I suppose there is a synchronisation/replication argument here. that perhaps i want a copy of all my stuff in one place, that i also farm out as appropriate.

    i agree with scott.

    there is also the issue of what if i only want your wine reviews becasue your music taste is awful and you read turgid novels i cant stand.

    the wisdom comes out of the crowds- all the rest is just getting to know you better.

    i disagree about this put in all in one place idea. i think. i am happy to use flickr, and other services and splice them all together. this is web 2.0 isn’t it?

  3. assaf says:

    First, thanks for quoting me *in* context 🙂

    I happen to think reviews and events listings are a form of attention. Positive or negative, I write about things I care for. What I don’t write about, most likely I’m indifferent to.

    I agree with James, wisdom comes from crowds. I happen to find more technology wisdom in blog posts than I do in Amazon reviews. But the blog search engines are not as good at aggregating reviews as Amazon is. That will change.

    I don’t particularly mind tagging on and uploading to Flickr and then aggregating that back into my blog. But there’s only so many services I can use in a day, and they happen to be the ones that deal with stuff I don’t want to blog: pictures and links.

    When it comes to opinions and listings, I don’t want to farm it into ten different vertical spaces and then aggregate it back. I like the convenience of putting it in one place, and make it available to anyone who want to search it.

  4. Right, enough cataloging of everyone else’s 2006 predictions…with about 4 hours to go before the start…