Category Archives: Attention Economy

Social media diet – the book supplement

In December 2007 I went on a media diet, inspired by a Digital Health Service Workshop I’d attended. To be truthful, it was mainly a social media diet. I was an early casualty, as it seems to be catching on more widely now.  After being relentlessly engrossed in reading and then creating blogs since 2004, and then diving into the participatathon of Facebook in October 2006, and Twitter the month after, plus a host of other social-sharing-crowdfacing-wikified-whateverisms (on top of all the other web stuff I do), warning signals were sounding.

Having partaken in these principally as a core (and very fruitful) part of my job, they were completely taking over, and the side-effects were not exactly glamorous. I’ve written about them before.

In some ways social media latecomers are lucky and have probably adapted better to the social mediaverse. Plus most don’t have to do it as a matter-of-life-or-paycheck, (although a few dozen tweets can get you a social media intern gig these days, but what did you do before that Tarquin? Enough said).

After I emerged from the two-week zero-fat diet of Xmas 07/ NY 08, things were different. Nowadays, it’s all about judicious media consumption for me, honing a better skim-and-plunge technique… supposedly. I still spend my working days neck-deep in the mechanics and strategy of all aspects of online communities, social media and their ilk, and find their business, tech, social and cultural impacts fascinating. Evenings, if I’m dabbling, it’s more likely reading, bookmarking and the odd tweet. Sometimes I’ll even try out a new web service. But there’s more to life…

And the part I was missing most was books.

(I’d just about managed to keep up on music, film, art and other stuff; somehow that was possible).

When I first moved to London in 1998 I didn’t read a book for 6 months. I was shellshocked – by the material stress of the move, the quantum leap of my job, the social rupture of leaving my life in Glasgow, the general disorienting strangeness (I’d been to London 30+ times previously, but living there – sorry, here – is different). As someone who’d normally read – and often review in my freelance journalist guise – 3-5 books a month, the book-reading famine was symptomatic of a larger destabilising episode.

I just couldn’t sit, zone-in and immerse myself in the great books I’d got queued up to read. When I think about it now, the wave of social media that’s washed over me in a work context in the last 5 years has made me exhibit many of the same behaviours that resulted from my transplanting to Londinium. But you always – hopefully – resurface.

So I made an effort to get some nourishment. Here are (some of) the books I read in 2009. Mainly – if sometimes vaguely – work-related, hence the exhibitionism…

Books queued up in December 2008

Books queued up in December 2008

I’m not reviewing them (if only!) but I have to admit two of the pictured editions are unfinished: Yochai Benkler’s (seminal) The Wealth Of Networks (see also the blog and wiki) and Grant McCracken‘s Transformations. I’m still in transit with them, gradually snacking my way through. Must be the microblogging ripple effect 🙂

Books queued to read August 2009

Books queued to read August 2009

I can’t wait to read 2010’s offerings. The pile is currently being assembled. And the project of filtering too many media inputs continues 🙂

If anyone wants to do a digital / social web book club (preferrably offline), this reader might be interested.

Attention economy up for grabs?

Big-red-shiny-flashing-light regarding one branch of my erstwhile NMK gig. Yes brothers and sisters, this here is an old skool Beers & Innovation alert!

Tomorrow night (Tuesday 6th March) you can catch Beers & Innovation 8: The Attention Seekers as there’s a few tickets left.

Although I see it’s been re-named ‘Beers & Innovations’.

I guess the extra “s” means that it musta got betterer lately 😉  [UPDATE: Ye olde title has been reinstated!]

All the more reason to make that last-minute booking and whisk yourself down there! [having noted details of the new venue, of course]

Attention makes its UK live debut?

Other reasons include the fact that this is, I think, the first opportunity for folks in the UK to settle down in a comfy bar and collectively grapple with the Pandora’s box of issues that are unleashed by the ideas of the Attention Economy and Attention Economics.

Is there mileage in these concepts and will they ever get traction beyond certain circles in the blogosphere? What of the measurement and metrics issues around attention? Is it just another way to aggregate eyeballs? And does Doc Searls‘ notion of the “intention economy” get a look in?

In turn, you get to chew the attention fat with some interesting panellists – Chris Seth, MD of social network Piczo; Sam Sethi entrepreneur and co-editor of Vecosys; and Alan Moore, co-author of ‘Communities Dominate Brands’ and CEO of engagement marketing firm SMLXL. Chairing is George Nimeh, MD Digital at Iris.

I’m very intrigued to see what comes out of this one.

Book your tickets here.