He kindly points out that Touchstone is also working in the field of Attention and predicts that we're going to hear more on the issue in the coming months and years.
Read his article 'Is Google building the Attention Economy"
He ends with:
What we do, where we go, what we say i.e. our attention will be tracked online, if we are to continue using free web services and in exchange the carrot is we will be further rewarded for our time and attention.
So Google you have got my attention but don’t be evil!
I, personally, would like some personal leverage rather than hoping that big companies 'won’t be evil'.
I think that leverage can come in the form of a feature he requests from Google.
If I could then share my attention metadata with other people I trust (whitelist) I could then let them learn about websites or feeds that I have been using. This is a similar idea to Dave Winer’s OPML share service and once again the basis of a discovery engine as opposed to search.
Well Sam we have invented just such a format called APML. Check it out and perhaps ask Google to support it.
As Seth Goldstein says, your attention is very valuable and you should have ownership over it and clear understanding of how it's being used.
As everyone knows, we too (here at Touchstone) can collect your Attention Data. Unlike other vendors, however, we can do it across applications and services to give you a broader, vendor neutral result -- and we let you see/control/keep/share the results.