Seth Goldstein writes:
Attention is the substance of focus. It registers your interests by indicating choice for certain things and choice against other things. As Steve reminds, the establishment of value in the attention economy is a dual register of what one pays attention to and what one chooses to ignore (or unsubscribe, turn off or tune out).
The reason attention is becoming more important now is that the Internet has enabled the recording and sharing of these choices in real-time. The massively parallel synthesis of meta data streams has concentrated enormous influence in people and their sites. Some consumers are proactive in gaining full control over their influence, but the majority are passive users of free services and offers (that actively capture and sell their intentions).
The first move in establishing an open market for Attention was to declare a set of basic rights:
Property: I own my attention and I can store it securely in private.
Mobility: I can move my attention wherever I want whenever I want to.
Economy: I can pay attention to whomever I wish and be paid for it.
Transparency: I can see how my attention is being used