Attention! News re Your Attention Span

November 2010
by Deanna Zandt

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Attention! News re Your Attention Span

by Deanna Zandt

Now that we’ve been bonked over the head with the idea that social technology can help us achieve our goals, we know we need new skills to cope with the volume of information we’re receiving. But we also need new skills for managing our attention span. I have some suggestions.

Axe the Economics Model

Because of the market structure of mass communications, we often think of our attention in terms of economics. In recent years, there’s been lots of talk in media and technology circles about the attention economy, the basic idea being that attention is scarce—a finite commodity that can be gathered and exhausted.

Using economics as a model, we have to choose where we “spend” our attention; and when we seek to gain attention for our books, we have to use market-based tactics to win the privilege of having people spend their attention on what we provide.

As we enter a more social, and perhaps more holistic, way of interacting with the world around us, squeezing a person’s attention span into this kind of transaction-based market model is problematic. Our attention span, as it turns out, is not limited in the way that supply marketers would have us believe.IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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