Friday, September 18, 2009

A model of how to monetize the attention economy

We've all been trying to calculate the value of advertising: views, clickthroughs, and lately, and vaguely, "engagement." But on social networks, ads don't seem to be working as well as they do on Google, where they're really part of the content, and relate directly to the user's intent. So along comes Adam Penenberg in his new book The Viral Loop, excerpted here in Fast Company, and modeled in an app for Facebook and iPhone. Estimate the value of each user to Facebook by how active they are, reveal that dollar figure so now I am motivated to try to raise it -- and then maybe together we can all pressure Facebook to share some of it back with us. Esther Dyson wrote about the attention economy a decade ago, and proposed that it should be worth it to companies to share it back with us, but I think this is the best attempt to do it in a long time, if ever. Check it out. My starting value on Facebook is $64.80. What's yours?

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