Seth Goldstein of Root Markets has summarized progress in the "attention economy" during the past year. I’ve followed his work and respect his vision for the future of user attention, relevance and privacy. He’s on a mission to protect how our attention data ( what we click, what we buy, who we converse with) is monitored, collected and used. Seth writes:
"…there is an equally compelling story about the steps and missteps of companies impacted by the emerging Attention Economy. Here is my brief history of key events over the past 12 months:
December 2005: Del.icio.us sells its users’ tags to Yahoo! for $$$
March 2006: O’Reilly ETech Attention Economy Conference
April 2006: PC Forum Conference, Users in Control
July 2006: Netscape pays Diggers for their gestures
August 2006: Ray Ozzie say of Windows Live “we will monitor” our users
August 2006: AOL Search Breach
September 2006: HP Pretext Scandal
September 2006: Facebook “Redesign” Fiasco
October 2006: ?"
and a little bit later in his post:
"…the Internet business path is about to split. One direction leads to an open approach to data, governed by the principles of transparency and publicity. The other direction leads to a closed approach to data, focused on privacy and opacity: the black box. Both directions have legitimate and consistent end-user benefits and economic rationales. The danger is getting stuck in the middle: (1) looking to increase your edge but not locking up the information it is based on; or (2) promoting your open-ness but not sharing data back to the system."