Steve Gillmor Makes Gestures

    May 17, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The longtime ZDNet blogger will move his blog to a new domain, he said in his speech at the Syndicate Conference that included commentary on Google, syndication constraints, and the post search, post RSS, post attention world.

Farewell ZDNet, hello InfoRouter. Steve Gillmor discussed a number of topics during his morning session, “It’s the Gestures, Stupid!”. Our team of Rich Ord and Mike McDonald sent home some notes from the noteworthy Gillmor’s talk.

One gesture Gillmor made to Google probably did not require all five fingers, though. He sees the search giant and its myriad product releases as going against the control users should be enjoying with their attention today:

Google is the largest Attention farm on the Internet … they are way ahead of Yahoo because however crappy their applications they are continuing to be adopted.

Right now the contract that Google has with Gmail is that we’ll give you this cool interface and you give us all your data.

It’s violating the fundamental rule of the user being in charge.

Gillmor sees the world moving from a click model to a lead-generating model. It ties into his thoughts on Attention. Users make gestures and send signals of their attention to marketers.

RSS offers a better option for building on that available attention than anything else has in the past, according to Gillmor. “In an era of no constraints, in terms of barrier to entry, the one constraint that continues to exist is ‘how do you reach the audience you’re looking for?'”

But even as RSS grows in awareness and increases in adoption, the world may be moving past all of the metaphors for reaching an audience. Gillmor thinks the online world is post RSS now, and post attention as well.

He doesn’t have much use for search, though. In Gillmor’s post search world, the dominant search engine serves as a handy spell-checking utility. That’s it.

Gillmor questions the capability of Google as a lead-generator, despite its success at search advertising. In the future, it will be the user, not the engine, that drives the traffic on the Internet.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.