How do you measure and value attention?

We measure things that are easy to measure about media, like

  • time on page, time on site
  • click through rate
  • conversion rate to some desired action
  • frequency of interaction
  • responsiveness of interaction
  • hot spots that are getting lots of attention
  • "lag", whatever that is, but everyone knows what it is

In general, media that have small amounts of lag are good for gaming, because you can play many small bets and iteratively define a better result. As the amount of lag increases, the attention games change, and you start to get out of the realm of reality-based feedback and into the realm of ROI fictions, and systems that have enormous expensive command and
control infrastructures. 

It’s one thing to hack people’s attention about tomorrow if you start working on it today, and something very different to plan a campaign that results in their attention (or the fulfillment of their desire) 6 or 12 or 18 or 120 months hence. 

Originally written for Kevin Doyle Jones, and published obscurely in 2007; rescued and republished with only minor edits 3 years hence.

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