Attention Economy

In theories of the attention economy, attention is first of all a scarce resource, which is what allows the Internet to become an economic medium again, that is, a medium to which all the axioms of market economics can once again be applied. Scarcity is the condition that can give rise to a proper economy, the ‘attention economy’. Attention is a scarce resource because ‘the sum total of human attention is necessarily limited and therefore scarce’ (Goldhaber, 2006). As Michael Goldhaber explains,

“By the Attention Economy, then, I mean a system that revolves primarily around paying, receiving, and seeking what is most intrinsically limited and not replaceable by anything else, namely the attention of other human beings.” (2006)

  • Tiziana Terranova, Attention, Economy and the Brain