The Attention Economy Is Here

Twitter as Flashpoint for the Attention Economy is the title of an interesting blog post at Internet Evolution by Andrew Keen

"Attention Economy" was invented by the futurist Michael Goldhaber in December 1997 to describe a new arrangement in which the "flow of attention" replaced money as the currency of the Internet.  Twitter Inc. – with its medieval-like armies of followers and followed – is a good example of how this new attention economy works. The value to us of Twitter is based on how many followers we have and thus how many people read our words. We all compete on Twitter for both attention and followers, of course, because time is finite, and there is only a certain number of people we can realistically follow and only a certain number of messages we have the bandwidth to read.

If you want to read more on the Attention Economy, then ReadWriteWeb has a good Overview.

As a pioneer of the Attention Economy, Twitter now is faced with the challenge of monetizing attention. For it to become a viable business, the VC-backed startup – which only just appointed a sales and business development team – needs to identify what it is, exactly, the company is selling.

Apparently Jason Calacanis with his 62,000+ fans is somewhat miffed that he does not appear on the Twitter suggested users list — a group of 20 A-list names given to all new Twitter users. So he has made a public offer of $250,000 to be included on the list for two years, thus suggesting a highly viable business model for the new attention economy.

Keen goes on to suggest that this is a  radically more innovative business model for Twitter than trying to sell advertisements and sponsorships.  I’m not so sure since I could not even find this A-list of 20 names.  I could find some suggestions of others I might wish to follow in the Searching for People section.  The following list of 115 such suggestions includes some of the A-list but again not Mr. Jason Calacanis.

LA is the world’s cultural capital. Defamer is the gossip rag it deserves.
hi there, i’m ali. i’m in a band called a fine frenzy. life is funny. let’s have a laugh.
Jodrell Bank
Home of the world’s third-largest steerable radio telescope, and the MERLIN National Facility. Part of the University of Manchester.
New media chick & Apple fan girl — I make funny videos and blog about everything from technology to pop culture. Read my blog
Dell Outlet
Refurbished Dell™ computers & electronics.
Always wondering what everyone’s doing.
JetBlue Airways
Have a question? Follow us and let us help! – Currently on duty: Morgan, Alex and Justin
Ubisoft’s all-girl professional gaming team. We’re passionate about video games and geek culture, and love to see more women playing and making games.
Jason Goldman
Flipped my wig at age 22 and it never grew back. Also: I work at Twitter.
The New York Times
Steven Johnson
Writer. (Six books, most recently Invention of Air.) Web site creator (3 companies, most recently Dad (three boys.)
Has Cheezburger?
This is the official ICHC TwitFeed. Check out @icanhaschzbgr for moar conversation.
John Dickerson
Political correspondent, Slate
NPR Politics
Political coverage and conversation from NPR News
Brandon J. Mendelson
Twittering across North America to fight cancer. Project nformation provided at the link above.
Agent M writer/editor/blogger. Comics! See also: @Marvel and
Pete Cashmore
Follow Mashable for the latest news on Twitter, social networking and social media.
When you care enough to hit send.
BBC Click
The BBC’s flagship technology TV show. Click is on BBC1 Sat 06.45 & News Channel Sat 11.30 in the UK. International times are at
Michael Arrington
Breaking Technology News And Opinions From TechCrunch
I am Jason Scott’s Cat.
Very Quotatious, I Perform Random Acts Of SHAQness
Evan Williams
CEO of Twitter
Felicia Day
Actress, Filmmaker, Gamer, Misanthrope
CNN Breaking News is among the world’s leaders in online news and information delivery.
Al Gore
Ana Marie Cox
There is no such thing as adventure. There’s no such thing as romance. There’s only trouble and desire. CEO -Tony
Mommyblogger, tyrant, snugglebunny
Whole Foods Market
Fresh organic tweets from Whole Foods Market HQ in Austin, TX.
Woot : One Day, One Deal. Also see our other feeds:
Lance Armstrong
7-time Tour de France winner, full time cancer fighter – LIVESTRONG!
Britney Spears
Yes! This is the real Britney Spears! We’ve got updates from her team, her website and yes, even Britney herself!
Sara Bareilles
Veronica Belmont
Host of Tekzilla on Revision3 and Qore on PSN. Also, a geek.
Jimmy Fallon
Tony Robbins
The Official Tony Robbins Account
Brooke Burke
today’s modern mom
World Economic Forum
Official Twitter account of the World Economic Forum, best known for the Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland (@luefkens tweeting)
ashton kutcher
Penn Jillette
PennSays, P&T: Bullshit!, more than half (by weight) of Penn & Teller
The Moment
Where Style Meets Culture
The official Coldplay twitter page.
John McCain
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
Kevin Rose
Founder of social media site Random ideas, entrepreneur, climber of rocks, video blogger, & tea drinker.
Chris Sacca
SF based early stage tech investor and adventure sports addict
Dave Morin
20-something Internet entrepreneur. Current, Facebook Connect. Past, Facebook Platform. Distant past, Apple.
David Gregory
Host of NBC’s Meet the Press
Jack Dorsey
Inventor, Founder, & Chairman of Twitter
Biz Stone
Follow the wacky adventures of a Twitter co-founder!
Kevin Pollak
Stooge. Not one of the original 3.
ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent and Host of "This Week"
Terry Moran
Nightline co-anchor
David Allen
Originator of GTD, founder of David Allen Co.
Zoe Keating
cello, computers, pancakes
LeVar Burton
Actor, Director, Educator
Dr. Drew
Board Certified, MD
Women’s Wear Daily
The Official Women’s Wear Daily Twitter
Chuck Palahniuk
Official Chuck Palahniuk Twitter, as run by his webmaster, Dennis Widmyer.
justjared is the trend-spotting, hot online source for pop culture gossip, fabulous celeb photo galleries and breaking entertainment news.
We’re a tee company where artists worldwide submit tee designs to us for a chance at $2,500+! Anyone can submit, score, share and buy their favorite new tees!
The Official Nightline
John Donvan
ABC News Correspondent
CTO of Cisco
Hi Everyone! Travel Expert- Adventure Girl at your service!
Tony Hawk
professional skateboarder, dad, videogame character, husband, ceo, kid chauffeur
Michael Ian Black
The Official Michael Ian Black Twitter Page
Martha Stewart
The Real 50 Cent
John Mayer
Official Tweets about the best live streams, updates and news from Ustream. If you need help, message @ustreamsupport
MO-RiS / ????
I’m MO-RIS. Freestyle,Freeride,Freelife. MountainBike and BMX rider. My favorite Music is Jazz, Funk and Hip-Hop. Sorry, I use Japanese only.
Digital Business, Live From New York
Demi Moore
King Combs
Perez Hilton
Perez Hilton is the creator and writer of one of the most famous websites in the world. And he also loves music – a lot!
Tim O’Reilly
Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media. Watching the alpha geeks, sharing their stories, helping the future unfold.
The Onion
America’s Finest News Source
Rachel Maddow MSNBC
I see political people…
I am an actor. I’m launching SoulPancake soon! My wife is Holiday and my son, Walter. Beets rule!
Ryan Seacrest
Get official tweets from Ryan and his producers about the radio shows, American Idol and breaking news from Hollywood!
Good Morning America
The Official Good Morning America Twitter Page
Breaking news and current events from around the globe.
Scott Simon
Host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday
Jimmy Eat World
A rock band from Arizona
Giuliana Rancic
Amazon MP3
Daily Deals and special sales on DRM-free, play-anywhere music downloads from Amazon. The official Amazon MP3 twitter feed.
Fred Durst
Member of Limp Bizkit
Brent Spiner
Trent Reznor
Musician / noisemaker. Nine Inch Nails.
Chelsea Lately Show
Comedian, TV personality and Author Chelsea Handler hosts The Chelsea Lately Show on E!
News and notes directly from the NBA. Find out as soon as Amazing Happens!
Ellen DeGeneres
Find Ellen’s monologue, celebrity photos and videos, games, giveaways, how to get tickets and more on The Ellen Show website.
Soren Macbeth
Co-Founder & CEO of, Interested in Currency Markets, Hedge Funds
Gary Vaynerchuk
Wine guy, host of Wine Library TV. Video blogger & Businessman that loves people and the hustle
Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em
18 & Rich.
The essential guide to independent music and beyond.
Vote Woz
VoteWoz on Dancing With The Stars. "Dancing is very analog."
Kelly Ripa
American Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress, television personality and talk show host.
Fat, married, make movies, I do.
Mark Hoppus
The Official Mark Hoppus Twitter Page. For What It’s Worth..
Explore the world with Get a new hand-picked dream trip every day.
A. Jo. Martin
Director of Digital Media & Research for the Phoenix Suns (Princess of Planet Orange)
Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is the largest U.S. options exchange and the creator of listed options.
soleil moon frye
Share music on Twitter
Joel McHale
Host of "The Soup" on !E
heidi montag
I love Jesus!
spencer pratt
Neil Gaiman
will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down.
rob corddry
I am a gentleman

There are other places where those who Twitter can try to be visible, for example Twitter Grader has its Twitter Elite Top Users list.  It notes that these have earned respect and admiration for having the highest Twitter Grade. Their power and reach in the Twitter community is truly awesome.  .. and that list does include Jason Calacanis.  That is a free listing so perhaps this Attention Economy is not as monetizable as it might first appear.

Jason Calacanis and Seth Godin – ultimate linkbait?

Jason Calacanis, Seth Godin – what’s up?

‘Link Bait’ Or ‘Link Worthy’, Are The Lines Becoming Blurred? That’s a topic that is being currently discussed in the Cre8asite Forums. With Google putting so much emphasis on links, there is a natural tendency to drum up as many links as you can. ‘Link Bait’ Or ‘Link Worthy’ almost seems to revolve around whether you are the author or the general reader.

Of course bad news or gossip tends to get more attention than good news. So if you were to create link bait, how would you do it? Probably discussing celebrities involved in questionable practices would seem to fit.

So what should we make of the following. Jason Calacanis has written a post asking, “Why is Seth Godin not talking about the Squidoo problem?” For those not familiar with Squidoo, it’s a concept developed by Seth Godin and described as follows:

Squidoo is the world’s most popular site for people who want to build a page about their passions. Highlight books, blogs, vids, online shops, or just spread the word about stuff you love.

Later in the same day, Jason Calacanis wrote another post acknowledging that Squidoo addresses spam concerns. However the previous day, Gil Hildebrand, Jr. of Squidoo had already given ‘An update on spam‘. So what was this all about: linkbait or link worthy? I’ll leave you to be the judge.

Jason Calacanis And The No Free Lunch Theorem

Mahalo Alpha is here to help you search.

Jason Calacanis has recently launched Mahalo, which is a new search vehicle. It is based on human evaluation of websites and has been the subject of some criticism. For example as Michael Gray (Graywolf) recounts four noted SEO experts gave Jason a difficult time in a recent podcast. The others were Brian of Scoreboard Media, Allen Stern of Center Networks, and Andy Beard.

The SEO experts seem to have greater faith in computer-based search engines. They’re all based on algorithms rather than human beings. For example Google boasts about the strength of its PageRank algorithm. Even ASK seems to accept the power of this argument and has been featuring its algorithm in recent publicity. That would certainly seem to be the majority view at the moment.

Jason Calacanis might find some scientific comfort among those attending the Seventh Metaheuristics International Conference taking place in Montreal, June 25-29, 2007. Optimizers will be meeting to discuss the best methodologies for optimization. Apparently one of the fundamentals is the No Free Lunch Theorem. This was first stated by David H. Wolpert and William G. Macready in 1995. Wikipedia has the following explanation:

Some computational problems are solved by searching for good solutions in a space of candidate solutions. A description of how to repeatedly select candidate solutions for evaluation is called a search algorithm. On a particular problem, different search algorithms may obtain different results, but over all problems, they are indistinguishable. It follows that if an algorithm achieves superior results on some problems, it must pay with inferiority on other problems. In this sense there is no free lunch for search algorithms.

That may be something that Google and ASK would prefer is left hidden in academia. However search is more about marketing than technology. Perhaps Jason Calacanis can use the No Free Lunch Theorem in his efforts to further publicize Mahalo.