I’ve noticed a few interesting trends that seem to point to a future in which our experiences on the Web might be tailored to our personal preferences without our ever having to spell them out. Welcome to the practical application of the Attention Economy.
Revenge of the Attention Economy: If you’re not familiar with the ‘attention economy’ concept check out my post here. Seems that information used to be expensive and hard to come by, but with so much of it available instantly for little or nothing it’s our attention that’s selling at a premium nowadays.
Necessity is a Mother: Advertisers are already hard at work getting our attention; but the need to surmount the ‘noise’ in our daily lives in order to make their point is more important than ever. Enter attention protocol markup language (APML). By building APML into the fabric of websites visited by tens of millions every day like Yahoo, MSN, LinkedIn, Facebook, and others, it will be easier than ever to measure, track, and predict their behavior. Voila – better ads, and maybe a more relevant browsing experience? Or a master manipulator’s dream?
I Want My MTV Back: Among professional critics on the ‘Net, the hot ticket is privacy and data ownership. In other words, assume that you leave a trail of virtual breadcrumbs behind you every time you get online; do you own that trail or can the information be used by your ISP, your software vendor, or others to shape your next browing experience (or sell you more of their product)? One blogger reviewed the actual policies of popular websites like Facebook, Yahoo, MSN, LinkedIn, and MySpace, and published his findings here. The results were not encouraging.