Mar 182007

And the Winner is… myself!

Months ago I announced a contest for general terms for;
a)    someone in the act of paying attention to someone else;
b)    the person receiving that attention.

Reluctantly, I must award myself the grand prize, which is: a an all-expense paid visit to my own mind.  (Convenient, that.)

Term (a) is hereby declared to be AUDIENT, an existing English word meaning a member of an audience, but which I intend slightly differently.

Term (b) is chosen to parallel term (a), being ATTENT (emphasis on the first syllable , which rhymes with “bat”). (I considered “attentor” and “attentee,” but decided it was best to split the difference, even though that leaves us with an odd-sounding word.”)

So thanks for being audients. Were this a more live CONVERSATION, between two of us, we could change places frequently, each taking many turns as audient and then attent.

(When an attent typically has many audients, thus taking in more net attention than paying out, that person is of course a STAR. Someone who is more often an audient, therefore paying out considerably more attention than getting back, is obviously a FAN.)

  2 Responses to “A Garland of Attention Terms, Part 1”

  1. “Attent” works. Was there a second place? I’ve been using “attender.” Your seminal early essay started me thinking about attention in a whole new way (thank you!) As a stop smoking coach and author, you helped me recognize how people use smoking as a way of managing attention (a significant insight that is NOT in the literature.) In working with smokers and their attention, I came up with the clever observation, “where attention goes, identity flows.” Quitting smoking is basically a matter of releasing attention (identity) from one possibility and attaching it (attention, and identity) somewhere else, moment-by-moment. In my work I’ve discovered that we in fact have many colors, feelings and forms of the “attent”, whereas attention itself is pure and uncolored, and indeed, at root, maybe even impersonal. (It takes only a split second between attention finding its subject and the attent’s rising up and claiming it as its own, but there is, in fact, a split second. To let attention float without the rising up of the attent is a buzzy experience.) In my work, then, I would say we have a smoking attent and a non-smoking attent, where the non-smoking attent has no reaction when his attention falls on a pack of camels. I’ve had nice success using attention as the “key” to quitting smoking. Thank you, Michael, for all of us. Your heretofore-anonymous attent–


  2. […] May 18, 2007 Life after pageviews: Proposing AudientStream and AttentStream: “There is an ongoing discussion about the usefulness of the pageview. Scoble has once again raised the issue as well. I’d like to make a proposal. Why can’t the tools themselves – embedded players, browsers, second life clients, readers etc report back deep Attention/Engagement metrics? First, some background… A LifestreamA LifeStream is an established concept and has been talked about by a number of people including Emily Chang, Stowe Boyd and others. It is an outgoing channel/record of everything you do/produce aggregated into a single feed. Consider though, that this is actually a stream of your Attention Data. Data that represents what you have paid Attention to in the past. Some call it an Attention Stream. In keeping with this theme, I would like to propose 2 additional concepts. AudientStreamAn AudientStream (An Audient is defined as someone who pays Attention to another) is a channel/record of everything you might need to pay Attention to in the future. A simple example of an AudientStream might be all the RSS feeds in your OPML file aggregated together. A more sophisticated example would be an aggregated feed of your OPML file ranked against your APML file (using something like Particls). Unlike a Lifestream, it is a list of things you are YET to see. Unlike just you OPML file, it might include Twitter items, email, etc. AttentStreamThis is where I think we can make an impact on the Pageviews and metrics problem. An AttentStream (An Attent is defined as someone who receives Attention from another) is a channel/record of others paying Attention to you. This would be a stream of events (preferably attributed to people) that signify Attention given to you by another. The AttentStream would come from the tools that people use to pay attention. Browsers, Readers, Embedded Players, the Flash Player, Adobe Reader, the SecondLife Client etc, etc. Because the tool itself does the reporting it can report more subtle information that can’t be gathered on the server. Think of it like distributed analytics. An example of an AttentStream might be if the YouTube player reported each time a video was played – how much of the video was played and by which user. This way authors can get Attention information about content they were involved in producing. The information would not just include page impressions or views. It would include richer things like time spent, partial views etc. Each tool might produce an RSS feed that can be aggregated together by existing or new metrics companies like Compete, Buzzlogic and Feedburner. With an AttentStream one could do basic things like displaying the identity of your subscribers (those that grant permission) much like Twitter shows your followers. It could also do more advanced things like going beyond the pageview to give you more information about who is spending time on your content with or without a click. I would volunteer Particls to testbed this type of system for publishers. If the community likes the idea and we come up with a concrete implementation we will be the first to provide reports to publishers about the amount of visibility their content has received from our users who opt into providing that information. This does not just mean just click throughs (which can already be measured with Analytics packages and Feedburner) but rather more subtle gestures like ‘time spent’ viewing the content via a popup alert or on the ticker. These are more subtle, yet equally important forms of Attention giving and engagement. Join the conversationThis is just the beginning of an idea. Join the conversation and suggest some concrete implementations. Drop me a line if you are interested in helping out or join us on Tangler for real-time chat. UpdateElias has written a follow up discussing the motivations behind collecting this sort of data. I have also responded in his comments to further clarify my thoughts. “ (Via Are You Paying Attention?.) digg_url=’′; digg_skin = ‘button’; digg_bgcolor = ‘#FFFFFF’; digg_title = ‘Life after pageviews: Proposing AudientStream and AttentStream’; digg_bodytext = ”; digg_topic = ”; Powered by Gregarious (42) Sphere: Related Content […]

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