Attention Engineering

January 2nd, 2005 | researchmaterial

I want to save the following excerpt from some thinking of Alex Steffen’s, that he recently placed on a discussion forum elsewhere.. I’m hoping he won’t mind. I just don’t want to lose this thought:

…we’re not journalists. We’re not activists. What are we? I’ve come to believe that it may be that we are engaged in a form of philanthropy. Except where other philanthropists send checks, we shine spotlights. We draw people’s attention to exceptionally worthy ideas and projects. Call it “attention philanthropy.”

…In short, we’ve created an attention engine.

The question is, how do we put this attention engine to good use? How do we most effectively “do” attention philanthropy?

You all need to be reading Worldchanging daily, by the way.


2 Responses to “Attention Engineering”

  1. A lot of blogging is devoted to the art of pointing to more interesting things. I can think of no other medium where this has happened. Perhaps our egos tell us that we need to be gateways to bigger things.

  2. […] The executive editor Alex Steffen gave a brief talk, and used an interesting term I hadn’t heard before: attention philanthropy. […]