Ways of paying attention

Shelley asks:

Can RSS let people know that Jonathon Delacour's weblog has something worth reading? [ burningbird]

Yes, if he writes a good title, one that draws me in. And if my software enables me to follow him (if I choose) on a titles-only basis. And if his allows me that choice.

Jonathon notices:

Previously, when I've written for books and magazines, I've left it to the editor and publisher to package my writing in a form that allows readers to experience it with minimal inconvenience. There are rules to follow; by-and-large, publishers follow the rules and readers are (unconsciously) grateful. [ Jonathon Delacour]

Exactly. Jonathon is a wonderful writer. So is Shelley. Many, many more are emerging. Given that I can't pay attention to everyone all the time, my choice should not be all or none. I'd like to be aware of as much of what's available as I can, and to choose according to my (fluctuating) needs and interests.

It's important to note that this principle of structuring information is only one of many strategies. Not the only one, not the most important one. Blogspace is evolving other ways to manage the scarce resource of attention, even as it ratchets up the demands on that attention. One of the most crucial is the way in which we can rely on people, not software, as our filters -- a variant of the Google principle, or what I used to call Web mindshare.

"Paying attention" is an interesting phrase. It acknowledges that there is a cost.

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/03/10.html#a123