Attention economy drives the web, where competition for attention is great and information can be created freely and shared in abundance.
Attention is infinite; readers must be increasingly selective about what they choose to read and how much time they choose to devote to any individual post. YouTube has recently refined their attention economy based system in an effort to better gage the attention selectivity of it’s users. For example where once a click method was used to gage how many views any one video received which determined the financial flow the creator received. The highest grossing videos at the time were comedic and music videos, holding the viewers’ attention for no longer than roughly 3 mins. it has now been adapted to more effectively show the devoted time as well as views, for example gamer reviews which can run for hours still maintaining their audiences attention.
“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it” Simon, H, A. Designing organisations for information rich world
News these days is no longer the highest priority. The world is more concerned with celebrity scandals than the atrocities of the hundreds if in going wars around the globe.
Journalism currently workers the same way most web medias systems do, their use of the click and view systems gages how popular the site is. Due to the increasingly over flowing of information sites that have the potential of producing worthwhile news are instead choosing the content that will give them more views. Buzfeed is a major contender in the battle to throw nonsensical ‘news’ at their viewers, without publicising the real issues.
Current issues don’t have to be revolved around which country is warring with another or about content which may seem unrelated to the class able to access these forms of media. Upworthy is a public media devoted to showing the generations malnourished of heathy sources and tasty information. Their content relates to their audiences discussing topics of sexuality, minimum wage, human rights, working families, sexism, global warming, Eco awareness and countless more. Upworthy has changed the way in which our current form of journalism sees itself and is seen by others. They reach a broad spectrum of viewers but without losing the integrity of their information. Sites such as Buzfeed have the capability of changing their main sources and content without completely changing their entity. There is an opportunity to produce news worthy articles in between the celebrity scandals and diet fads.
Choose wisely next time you click on that link. Question whether it is concerned about the quality of information in they are delivering to you. Are you being used to gain views? Will you finish that article the wiser? Or will you have wasted 3 minutes of your life just to see who out of Robert Downey Jnr and Hugh Jackman had the better manscape? Probably Hugh Jackman, let’s be honest.