Attention Standards

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From Marc Canter, at

"How many readers know what their online attention is worth? If you don't, Google and Yahoo do—they make their living off our attention. They know what we're searching for, happily turn it into a keyword, and sell that keyword to advertisers. They make money off our attention. We don't.

Technorati and friends proposed an attention standard, Attention.xml, designed to "help you keep track of what you've read, what you're spending time on, and what you should be paying attention to." AttentionTrust is an effort by Steve Gillmor and Seth Goldstein to standardize on how captured end-user performance, browsing, and interest data are used.

Blogger Peter Caputa gives a good summary of AttentionTrust: "As we use the web, we reveal lots of information about ourselves by what we pay attention to. Imagine if all of that information could be stored in a nice neat little xml file. And when we travel around the web, we can optionally share it with websites or other people. We can make them pay for it, lease it ... we get to decide who has access to it, how long they have access to it, and what we want in return. And they have to tell us what they are going to do with our Attention data."

So when you give your attention to sites that adhere to the AttentionTrust, your attention rights (you own your attention, you can move your attention, you can pay attention and be paid for it, and you can see how your attention is used) are guaranteed. Attention data is crucial to the future of the open web, and Steve and Seth are making sure that no one entity or oligopoly controls it.

Movers and Shakers: Steve Gillmor, Seth Goldstein, Dave Sifry and the other Attention.xml folks." (