Here’s a thought experiment, one I had in a hallway with Jerry Michalski and Linda Stone last week. What if attention, the last good some of us think will be scarce, is actually abundant? Yeah, I need to have that conversation with Steve Gillmor.
Attention isn’t an act of consumption, but one of giving. Steve went past that with gestures, a framework I can buy. But are we really limited to an amount of gestures we can give? Does it cost me something to mention Steve’s name, let alone linking to him, in a post? Or wave to him in a hallway? The cost of either is nominal.
Linda, who I am so happy for btw, had a counterpoint, or so it would seem at first. She is focused on the notion of focused attention. When we have a session, how much continuous attention are you giving? We all want the undivided. We all believe we can time-slice in the moment, and what we have to give is more important than it will actually be perceived. This is true, with our current notions of focus and privacy.
Just watch how Jerry gives.
When you make your gestures public, enable them to be discovered, you are acting with abundance. This is what I think is changing. Sharing control over your gestures creates more value than the gesture inandofitself.
Somehow this conversation has to wade into how people can get into the middle. As though there was a buyer and an influencer and the vendor has to stop it and pay for the lead, even at its mark-to-market value. And offering the buyer more privacy is the solution. It is part of it, especially in a world where there is no trus in the vendor.
But it might become one where is abundant with opportunity that attracts both buyer and influencer. And they are abundant themselves. Leads self-select, trust is verified, respect for attention or otherwise is part of the deal.
This must be built upon the absence of a number. I think I’m on to something, but don’t know yet.
He also writes Ross Mayfield’s Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.