Social Media and the Attention Economy

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A talk on implications of the "Attention Economy" for social media and social computing.

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  • Social Media and the Attention Economy

    1. 1. Implications of the Attention Economy onSocial Media/Computing Design and Use. Cliff Lampe (@clifflampe)
    2. 2. Attention and Social ComputingSoliciting, managing,and consumingattention is a majorenterprise in socialcomputing design anduse.*BUT* Attention isfickle at the moment
    3. 3. Lightning in a bottle: Karen Klein
    4. 4. Lessons from Karen• Bullying sucks• Story occurred over multiple channels, both social and mass• Story unfolded quickly• Very little control over this story was held by anyone• Attention is a blunt object
    5. 5. Promises of social computingCollective actionCivil societyCognitive surplusCrowd sourcingPersuasive technologySocial Capital *plus all that money stuff...
    6. 6. Consumer with attention Producer wants attention
    7. 7. Proposition 1:Attention is Scarce
    8. 8. Attention and TimeAttention = timeTime is a finite resource.1440 minutes per day,divided amongst allopportunities.LONG history in socialscience on how we chooseto spend our time.
    9. 9. How we spend our time = behaviorWhy we spend time = motivation
    10. 10. Choice FrameworksEconomics = utilityPsychology = motivationMedia Choice TheoryWilliam James - Cognition,emotion, habit
    11. 11. Proposition 2:Choice is cognitivelyexpensive
    12. 12. Herb SimonBounded Rationality SatisficingThe attention Economy
    13. 13. "...in an information-rich world, thewealth of information means a dearthof something else: a scarcity ofwhatever it is that informationconsumes. What information consumesis rather obvious: it consumes theattention of its recipients. Hence awealth of information creates apoverty of attention and a need toallocate that attention efficientlyamong the overabundance ofinformation sources that mightconsume it. " - Herb Simon
    14. 14. Attention Economy“There is something else thatmoves through the Net,flowing in the oppositedirection from information,namely attention.”- Michael Goldhaber
    15. 15. Units of AttentionEthan Zuckerman - TheKardashian Unit ofAttention
    16. 16. Proposition 3:The current social mediaenvironment is *not*scarce.
    17. 17. Social media aggregates and (could) overwhelmdanah boyd peer production = more “infomunication” than we can attend toMichael Bernstein Twitter Zen
    18. 18. Proposition 4:People have to figureout how to spend theirattention*and get you to spend your attention
    19. 19. Proposition 5:Social computingsystems design and usis about attentionmanagement
    20. 20. Content Social ArchitectureAttention management strategies
    21. 21. Individual strategies• Heuristics• Bias - Selective exposure• Uses and gratifications• Rational choice• Social influence• Etc.
    22. 22. HabitRobert LaRose Socio-cognitive theory Habit = low cost choice mechanism Habit vs. addiction Forming / breaking habits “Slashdot is for old dudes” theory
    23. 23. Content StrategiesPropagandaAdvertisingFear MongeringPersuasion
    24. 24. Social strategies
    25. 25. Social SignalingJudith Donath Assessment signalsJoe Walther Warranting Cues Berrypicking?
    26. 26. “signals” in situ
    27. 27. System design
    28. 28. Content Social ArchitectureAttention management strategies
    29. 29. Why attention matters for social computing system research and practice
    30. 30. Proposition 6:Attention underlies ourunderstanding of socialcomputing systems
    31. 31. Research on social computing systemsResearch dominatedby “single channel”studiesCommon theoriesdon’t account foroverload well.
    32. 32. Example: social capitalBenefit of interactingwith others in a socialnetworkDependent on “socialgrooming”i.e. spending attentionon others
    33. 33. Example: Social SearchFacebook and Twitteroffer sweetopportunities to seekand share informationHow useful is that ifyou can’t make a bidfor the attention ofyour network?
    34. 34. ImplicationsHow do people really decideto spend their attention? Heuristics, rational choice, habitWhat about cross channelchoice?Consumption vs. production?Local vs. global optimization?
    35. 35. Cliff sometimes has bad ideas.Breadth - what isn’tattention?Overlap - king of allscience!Obvious - no duh?Testable - how should weapproach this?
    36. 36. Final PleaWe can change the world for the better. Because we *can*, we must.
    37. 37. Thanks!Cliff Lampecacl@umich.eduTwitter: @clifflampeSlideshare: clifflampe

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