Saturday, March 22, 2008


Exploiting the Attention Economy

If time is money, then money can be made wasting other folks time...

Spam and telemarketing are viable businesses because there is a broken economy of time. When a telemarketer or a sales person from a software vendor has you on the phone, that person is on the clock and you aren't. The time you spend attempting to screen out spam email almost always exceeds the time that was spent sending it to you. Consider that sales folks spend some fixed amount of time shotgun blasting to thousands of folks and that time is negligible when compared to the total time spent by victims deleting their messages.

Have you ever been in the grocery store where some pigeon head woman holds up a line debating something trivial? The imbalance is similar in that this person also doesn't put a high value on time. Likewise, folks that exhibit this behavior are most certainly using best practices in wasting the time of those in line as well.

Imagine if you had the opportunity to automatically bill others anytime they wasted yours. I suspect many may even want to bill me a couple of minutes it took to read this blog entry. I guess the post is that spam isn't just something folks do via email, it is actually a common practice that we all do in our daily lives...

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