Supernova: Your Attention Please

Steve Gillmor (moderating), Glenn Reid, Doree Duncan Seligmann, David Sifry, Linda Stone

[Collaborative notes taken by Nat, Tom, Kevin, and me. EAOE.]

Glenn Reid

Began 20 yrs ago with Adobe, and thought was buildingn software, but software lets people create things and communicate.

Buliding new networks of filters with the blogosphere. Someone who has time to filter saves you the time to do it yourself.

Doree Duncan Seligmann

How to inject humanity into technology.

How to be aware of what’s happening while you’re in a collaboration. Other systems looked at how you could put a lot of information together, blurring the boundaries between ?? and information. Web pages would actually age and show their uses (nice). What working on now: Addressing the issue that you have all these communication devices – laptop, cellphone and peripherals – and they might all be demanding your attention. How do we provide a protective shell around the user to manage these dynamic devices to service users and protect the users from them. New phone of the future.

Dave Sifry of Technorati:

I think about attention quite a bit. Micro/macro economic terms – what is the attention of Web 2.0 – what is the thing that is scarce: people’s time. The definition of attenntion: time directed to a purpose by a person.

Whether you’re Bill Gates of a Masai warrior you have 24 hours in the day – that’s it, and that’s fundamentally scarce. What you do with that time – (lakoffian reference).

We talk about ‘spending time’ – analyses of scarcity and apply that to people’s attention.

The neat thing about computers ideally is that we can capture how we spend time, without changing our work. People woudl rather be strangled than forced to put into a taxonomy or express why they did something.

If you can enable the computer to watch what you do and see how you are spending your time, you can share that information and analyse what people look at, and use collaborative filtering to allow others to direct your attention.

The Google hypothesis was that the hyperlinks is a vote of attentions. Hyperlinks are a social gesture.

Where do I spend my time today? Chances are there are other people with more time and expertise in an area, and how can they help me spend my time.

Linda: what concerned me was that we do need to think about it analytically – leisure time is what makes us human; not mapping every minute makes us human. An over-emphasis on efficiency is suspicious. Over-emphasis on parenting – maximising playdate opportunity. Parents now want to protect their children from crazy schedules. Keep in mind that some needs to be really unstructured so we can be creative

SG: make things more efficient in other areas so we have leisure time.

It’s a lifestyle choice about prioritisation

L: we have been enamoured of what tech can do that we have surrendered to these opportunities.

Glenn: Responding to e-mail all day as a job – how is that contributing to the economy – it’s a river of crap in some ways.

DS: who owns the data on yourself?

SG: why don’t the users own that data?

Glenn: danger of collecting everything

SG: Data Roach motel -= your metadata goes in and never comes out. Dave, is attention.xml anonymising data?

DS: we all own our data – it is ours – especially as personal as where we spend our attention. having a service provider to store it is fine, but need to be able to get it out and transfer it. There is a tremendous temptation towards lock-in, and that is a slippery slope.

Who owns your data? We start from the assumption that it should be ours. This allows service providers to be of service. So, we need an interoperable file format.

Attention.xml is a simple file format to describe this. There is no personally identifiable information in the file itself; it can’t be tied to me.

Glenn: is this being collected?

SG: everyone is collecting now – what you look at Google

Linda: In order to gather data it’s a political issue not a technology one.

Personal workspaces – dynamic set of devices that you’re managing as a cohesive whole. People have jsut a wiresless headset but can manage their availabity by tracking them.

Glenn: When people are striving towards real-time communications, that’s only half true, because only half the people ware interested in real-time, ie. the person making the call. IM has a problem as there is no voice-mail equivalent. Email vs. IM as two different industries is only temporary.

Linda: need synchronous to synchronous, and we are still struggling with that.

Steve: I’d like to kill email. But let’s talk about RSS. Email is bieng used as a store, and there isn’t any store tech in the RSS space.

Dave: We have stds about what feeds your’e subscribed to. OPML. Great for saying ‘this is a list of feeds’ but not nearlly rich enough to descirbe what have i actually read, when, on what device. The vision that Steven and I was creating a new open ecosystem, for the readers and not just the publishers. So if i’m reading on my online Newsgator account and I have a mobile device i should be able to sycn simply. so if iread on my mobile or mac it hsould sync w. the bloglines account or PC, and that is a imple case of being able to say ‘this iswhat i’ve read’.

Can flag things, and rate things. and sometimes these are user entered, and sometimes it’s just based on how uch time you spent reading something. Fo rme to check off a box and marking it as read is different to spending actual time reading.

Glenn: it’s usenet over again

SG: talk about a river of crap

SG: Implicit and explicit metadata.

LS: I actually like an increased flocus on implicit information and having 11 or 12 years ago worked on some of the early virtual words techs, where you had to turn a massive crank to show the slightest change, our authenticity is in the implicit aspects and it’s incrediblyu important to build that in. To balance that with some of the explicit stuff is useful.

Glenn: the amount of time that you’ve’ been idle in IM is an implicit information. Who worries about being seen to be idle?

LS: Re-reading McLucan – very relevant for today. medium is the massage. (medium is the message is the previous book).

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