By Bob Walsh
Attention has gotten my attention lately, and if you’re starting a micro-ISV or looking for a new product idea, it should have your attention too. The industrial economy is so Twentieth Century ‘re in the Attention Economy now , a brave new world with brand new diseases, brave new problems and yes, real opportunities.
There’s something of a zeitgeist-like realization going on that we’ve all be counting pennies and throwing away the big bucks of where our attention goes.
Here’s two pings to consider:
– “Tag and Ping” is a hot, hot topic among online Affiliate Marketers. And whether you love them or hate them, you’ve got to respect their ability to hone in on ways of making a buck online.
– The O’Reilly Media’s 2006 Emerging Technology Conference focused alpha geeks on The Attention Economy.
Attention is the problem domain,but where are the applications, the tools, the solutions? Remember the secret sauce to creating a successful micro-ISV product or site? Problem Domain + unmet need + people hurting + cool solution = micro-ISV revenues.
So for the sake of this conversation, and because I’d pony up money for these apps in a heartbeat, here are three four ideas for Attention Economy micro-ISV apps that come to mind:

  • The Attention Auditor ‘ This is either a desktop or web 2.0 app that interviews me and helps me find and plug attention leaks like the one I dealt with in ‘Dealing with Microsoft Attention Pickpockets, part 1‘. Think of it as part credit history monitor, part DIY, part automated home inspection.
  • Info Scouts ‘ Another web 2.0 app: I keep an eye on some part of the Information Tsunami and report back the 20% you need to know, if you and you and you do the same. You run the site, build the community, and monetize the network effect. Think part Wikipedia, Forrester Research and Digg for grown-ups.
  • The Attention Marketplace ‘ Let’ cut out the coy crap and sell your attention to marketers for real. Sellers fill out a profile and auction their attention; marketers pay them for their attention, less a percentage to you.
  • File Slave ‘ A desktop app that works in the background via Google’s Desktop Search API to go through the bazillion files and docs I have, and clean up that particular attention-sucking nightmare.

Now maybe after reading these product ideas you think I’ve had one too many cups of coffee today (I have!) but here’s the point: the Attention Economy is here to stay, has more than a few problems and needs solutions. Is your micro-ISV going to be part of those problems or one of the solutions?


  1. Hi Bob,
    Great suggestions–I just linked to your post on the AttentionTrust blog: As AttentionTrust’s Executive Director, I’m trying to identify and promote concepts for attention services that will make a real difference in the lives of typical (i.e. non-geek) people, and these are some great ones. I’d love to talk further, and please let me know if you get any responses to you post–thanks!

  2. I wish someone could explain what Tag and Ping is! From what I can gather the basis of that kind of traffic booster is the use of social bookmarking sites (like Delicious) to somehow boost one’s rank. I suppose that’s the “tag” part means. What about the “Ping”?
    Is this just another system where you can only sell some “special reports about the secret of “, me wonders…

  3. bobw Reply

    Tag and ping is social bookmarking – The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) crowd swooning over the positive effect making it to say Digg’s front page can have on Google search results. The ping part is making sure your posts ping one of the several central servers out there (any blogging app worth the name does this)
    The thing is, Tag and Ping is about defining and refining and monitizing Attention. If Attention is a para-currency, there are lots of things you can do with and within it. And I hope other micro-ISVs cash in!

Write A Comment