The Ethics of Attention
The problem is that attention is an issue of scale: how do you get the attention of everyone?. Social capital becomes a literal currency; we exchange the value embedded in networks in an attention economy. There are a number of assumptions underlying traditional mass media technologies, like radio and television: broadcast, primetime, the mass audience; but with the internet (like with cable and satellite radio), attention is splintered, across a multitude of channels, streams, feeds.
But what if you don’t have powerful people or institutions to help you garner attention? Or what if you can’t convince others to help you?
Become the Gepetto of the attention economy, and make some bots.
Perfect! This is exactly right. We are already using our machines to weave together our social fabric, and being explicit about their participation in our social activities is the first step to a unified actor-network theory.
Michael Chui originally shared this post:
Last month, Ethan Zuckerman of the Center for Future Civic Media (MIT Media Lab) posted a great article on his blog called The Tweetbomb and the Ethics of