The attention conversation keeps going. Latest post by Scott Karp:
"The idea that we’re living in an “attention economy” is nothing new. But unless the media/technology industry starts listening to Umair and focuses on creating new ways to help people efficiently allocate their attention in a world of infinite options, the bubble will pop. And it won’t be pretty.
So let’s focus on the user. What the user needs is help allocating a finite amount of attention. And solution needs to be personal — perfectly tailored to each user’s needs. The user needs a personal killer app."
Scott refers to Umair of Bubblegeneration. I love Umair's stuff.
One related post I came across yesterday by Noah Brier makes his show-stopping observation:
"But here's my widespread adoption issue: the general public don't think they have an 'attention problem.' If you ask people how much television they watch, they'll tell you less than they actually do. Most individuals have no clue what they actually spend their time doing and they're totally fine with it. Yeah, RSS puts all this information at your fingertips and creates an attention problem. But that's only for us geeks who are subscribed to 300+ feeds. I mean, yeah new technologies will force people to split their time more and more, but will they notice/care? I think it's really important to remember that the average person has no desire to sit around and read all these RSS feeds then blog about them. In fact, if you showed someone how I spend my attention online, they'd probably think I was an idiot who was wasting time."
Is attention really only a problem for the 'edge cases'?
Well, Google doesn't think so: Google News with personalization based on clickstream is a product designed for the masses. Any personalized news service is targeting the attention problem space. And there are a few - are they designed exclusively for the geekosphere?
The idea that only geeks - and not the 'average' people - want to have a more efficient way of finding content that matches their interests seems way off to me.
My wife is not a geek. She doesn't blog and she doesn't use an RSS reader. I don't know if that makes her 'average', but hey. Anyway, she is interested in things. She does use the internet to find news stories of interest to her - celebrity news (oh well 😉 and info related to her profession. When I asked where she goes to get her news, she mentioned six or seven sites she visits for about an hour in total throughout the day, each day. And she has to 'find' the stories each time. So I'd say she is the perfect example of someone who would benefit from having a service that would bring her the news that matches her interests, regardless of who generated it.
I described to her a service that sounded like an attention engine and asked if she would use it, and she said yes. You see, her 24 hours are as valuable as my 24 hours.
Related - my attention writings