Attention has a number of different definitions and meanings based on its context. In the online world attention could be defined as tracking browser click stream behavior, user RSS behavior and group behavior and collaborative filtering (also see Attention.xml movement by Steve Gillmor). In the context of the Syndicate NY conference, Craig Barnes, CEO of Attensa, and Seth Goldstein, founder and CEO of Root, covered two attention perspectives.
Attensa is using and leveraging attention information to help with business needs. It just rolled out a predictive ranking system for RSS content which is based on behavior, manual overrides and other people in the network. Attensa believes attention is a constant stream that continues to get richer. Craig explained that Attensa believes attention is a living stream and the key to solving information overload. Craig Barnes stated:
“Attention is for the user.”
Craig went on to say:
“RSS overload is going to dwarf the email problem.”
Attensa is combating the problem by using something called attention streams. Attention steams allow users to rank what is in important them so that the most important items can bubble to the top.
Seth Goldstein explained a number of Root’s attention offerings geared towards online users. Root allows you to monitor or track your own online usage since they believe you should own your data. Root has a product called Root Vault which is a place for storing click stream data. Root Vault is like WebTrends for you or more simply a history of where a user is going on the web. Root Vault also allows the ability to share your history with other friends which can be looked at as a discovery tool without ever having to tag a thing. It is strictly peer-to-peer.
Root is working on something called Kibits which is a client to allow members of the Root community that have been flagged as friends to see what other friends are accessing real-time online. Roots could be used to trade user data in the form of a lead - which is crystallized attention. Additional Root Vault could be used to monitor employees as part of a business policy enforcement tool or watchdogging childrens usage of MySpace.
“People are giving their information out to companies with no idea what is happening to their data.”
So in a perfect world, the attention movement could pay online users for their attention.
For additional information on attention check out AttentionTrust.org which is a non-profit that is dedicated to promoting the basic rights of attention owners offers an open toolkit to develop attention based products and services.
For additional Syndicate info check out: Syndicate Conference