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Filtering by Category: "scarcity"

Attention is Saturated - not Scarce

Added on by Chris Saad.

I have grown to like this quote very much:

"What does an abundance of information create? A scarcity of attention."

So if scarcity in a marketplace creates value, then tools that help with attention scarcity are the brokers of the new economy.


I like it because it puts things in economic terms and some people like to think in monetary terms.

David Henderson, however, has another great idea. He claims that his Attention is not 'scarce', it is Saturated.

He says that:

Attention scarcity implies there is attention available. Come on in and I will give some of my remaining scarce attention. Attention saturation implies there is no attention available. It’s all used up. It means you need to displace some already engaged attention to get my attention.

I think that is a fascinating way to look at it.

Because, as he alludes and I have outlined in the Media 2.0 Roadmap, in a world where your attention is saturated, people don't need more ways to find stuff, they need a way to automatically and personally FILTER it.

In a post called 'The Aphrodisiac of Attention', John explains the sinister game that telecommunications companies are playing with our Attention and how filtering might play a role.

...a conversation I had ten years ago with a senior exec of a major telecommunications company. He proudly announced to me that his company had a twenty year plan: "In the first ten years, we will commercialize technology to help everyone connect anytime, anywhere. But the real money will be made in the next ten years. At that point, we will focus on providing technology to block access anytime, anywhere. Can you imagine how much people will pay for that capability?"

John also has the following quote:

Trusted filters, trusted protectors, trusted concierge, human or technical, removing distractions and managing boundaries, filtering signal from noise, enabling meaningful connections, that make us feel secure, are the opportunity for the next generation. Opportunity will be the tools and technologies to take our power back.

Blog Highlights of 2006

Added on by Chris Saad.
Hi everyone - I hope you had a great 2006. I know we certainly have. In just one year, Touchstone has gone from the back of a napkin to a funded, flying company with a number of great staff, friends, advisors and testers. We wish to thank you all very much for your efforts this year - we literally could not be doing this without you.

Here are the highlights from the blog over the last year in reverse order (most recent at the top).

Hitting the Mainstream 2
Information Overload hits the mainstream media for a second time - in a big way.

Hitting the Mainstream 1
Information Overload hits the mainstream media for the first time (or there abouts)

Democracy Now!
Web 2.0 has barley hit and people are talking about Web 3.0. We discuss how absurd that is and why YouTube is NOT Web 2.0.

Show me the money (or pain!)
Some people (read:head in the sand) think there is no information overload problem. This post explains why there is.

Filtering vs. Ranking
Some people are still talking about filtering RSS. Filtering is so 5 years ago.

Aggregation is King
Content used to be king. If that's true, then Aggregation is now master of the universe.

Desktop vs. Web-based
Web 2.0 implies that stuff is on the web. Not true. This post talks about the value of desktop applications in a web world. By the way - did you know the Browser is a desktop application? Shock/Horror.

What is Attention Data?
And no - it is not just OPML or Attention.XML.

Personalized Content
Some claim that the battle for 'People Powered News' is over. Digg and others have won. I make the argument that People Powered News MIGHT be done, but Personalized Content is just getting started.

There is no more audience
Participants have killed the audience. Media outlets that treat their audience like eyeballs are doomed to fail in a Media 2.0 world. This is a short rant about the death of the Audience.

Touchstone funded by Angel
Touchstone get's funded by an Angel Investor. What more do we need to say about that!

The Long Tail of Attention
Chris Anderson describes the three factors that have made the Long Tail a viable market. I then explain why a Tool like Touchstone empowers the 'Long Tail' (that's you and me) to take advantage.

Personal Relevancy
What is Personal Relevancy exactly? It's when your interests and personality become the basis for choosing content, rather than the whims of one editor who decides what 'the mainstream' should care about.

Tune Out the Noise
Touchstone is not about alerting - it is about NOT alerting. Think about that.

Attention, Scarcity and Demand
Markets work on Supply and Demand. Price is dictated by Scarcity. So in an era of abundance, the scarcest resource is our Attention.

Power Back in your hands
Amazon Recommendations are great... for them. They help cross-sell and up-sell their customers. But what if you could use the same technology to take control of your information across all the sites you visit?

Anti-Web 2.0
Touchstone is a desktop application. Does this make it Anti-Web 2.0?

Not a Gadget Engine
Touchstone compared to the current rash of Gadget/Widget engines out there.

RSS is not just about News
Imagine using RSS for something other than News. Feed readers fail for most of those other applications. Touchstone picks up the slack.

Thanks again for sticking with us. The best is yet to come!

Chris, Ash and the whole Touchstone Crew.

The reorganization around people

Added on by Chris Saad.
Over on Leafar's blog he has made a great post entitled 'Venture with Wit' that covers a number of topics including chasing VC/Angels who have the right understanding of the Attention Economy (we have found it is better to let them find us) and various factors that affect information flow.

These, according to Leafar, include: Content ("Hyperchoice Problem" - I love that name), Identity (An area where we have contributed APML) and Social (at which point he kindly mentions Touchstone as the best example of work being done in the area.)

I particularly like these quotes from his post:

From EquityKicker.

"As I’ve said before to me the web is re-organizing around people instead of sites"

I wrote about this in a recent post called "Aggregation is King"

Another great quote is from Umir

"Across consumer markets, attention is becoming the scarcest - and so most strategically vital - resource in the value chain. Attention scarcity is fundamentally reshaping the economics of most industries it touches; beginning with the media industry."

Ultimately though, users don't care about these market forces and factors of information flow. What they care about is a highly tailored experience that saves them time, delivers the right information on the right device and at the right 'Volume'.

If the web is reorganizing around people and Attention is the scarcest resource, then a tool that performs ultimate personalization by indexing, apply and managing user attention must be worth something to someone :)