Peter Caputa asks if Attensa is AttentionTrust compliant and whether information on what he has read can be exported in a standard file format.
The questions are straightforward and so is our answer to Peter's first question. Attensa supports the basic AttentionTrust principles.
The answer to Peter's second question is more complex because the Attensa technical team and other industry players are working to create standards that address the mobility issues surrounding attention. We are collaborating with other Attention technology pioneers and working on the attention.xml standard to bring technologies to market that will deliver on the promise of Attention.
I thought it would be useful to take a look at what we can do today to meet the spirit of the AttentionTrust principles.
1. You own your attention and can store it where ever you wish.
2. You can securely move your attention wherever you want whenever you want to.
The first two principles are tightly connected. Today Attensa gives you control over your OPML file, a fundamental expression of your attention that you can own and store. You own your OPML file and you can create custom OPML files that can include a subset of the feeds that focus your attention. With the export feature you can store your complete file or any subset anywhere you want and share it with anyone you want.
You own your tags, another pure expression of your attention. Attensa tags are stored locally on your machine. They are also stored and synchronized at del.icio.us if you use the service. And with the Attensa tagging toolbar for IE and the tagging extension for Firefox you can access your tags and tagged articles in your browser of choice.
3. You can securely move your attention wherever you want whenever you want to.
To address this issue it is essential to define the components that make up your attention. Your OPML file and tags are part of it. Your click-stream can be considered a manifestation of your attention. What about all of the other ways you consume information? Attention is a huge concept that goes far beyond RSS feeds and click-streams. AttentionStream technology can be used to identify your favorite feeds and the feeds and articles you ignore or delete instantly. It can be used measure the time you spend reading specific articles. It can identify the articles you tag or forward to co-workers and friends.
Different companies will have their own take on the components that comprise Attention. Much of the attention being paid to attention is focused on its value in advertising and marketing. Attensa is taking a user-centric approach designed to improve the experience of staying up to date by addressing how AttentionStreams can cut through information overload and make knowledge workers more productive. These are two very different problems and will require very different solutions.
3. You can pay attention to whomever you wish and receive value in return.
Of course you can pay attention to whomever you wish. (unless your IT department is controlling who gets access to specific feeds). The value you receive in return can take many forms, the pleasure of discovery, time savings from automagic prioritization, or a killer ad that arrives at the moment attention slips into intention.
4. You can see exactly how your attention is being used.
You might not want to see exactly how your attention is being used. Who has the time and inclination? Applied attention technology might be like sausage, you can enjoy the end product without watching how it's made. Business models will be based on the unique intellectual property companies will use to put attention to work. The hundreds of millions of people who use Google everyday don't have any idea how it works and I bet they don't really care. It just works. Those people who do care are putting pressure on Google to be more transparent on what they are doing with all the data they are collecting.
When attention is delivering prioritized, highly relevant information, elminating duplicates and delivering ads with 100% CTR, while protecting your privacy with opt-in processes and full disclosure, we'll know attention is being used to make life a little better.
Peter, if you have ideas on how to make your attention data mobile and more transparent share them with us. We're listening.