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    The attention economy in publishing

    November 30, 2016

November 30, 2016

The attention economy in publishing

What is attention economy?

Attention economy is dedicated to the way we deal, filter and engage or not with a piece of information. Attention is seen as a “scarce commodity” and as an intangible that all industries fight for. When we get presented with various items, the mechanics of our it decides whether to act or to restrain from further engagement.

Being tiny spectacles in the bulk of information we get bombarded with, our time becomes vulnerable. The publishing industry is vastly dependent on the reader’s consideration. The basic calculation is that an hour spent on one book is an hour not spent on another. Attracting readers to devote time to your content equals a war of engagement with the other alternatives in the publishing sector. Thus, publishers have been “pioneers” in facing the metric swap: clicks do not mean attention.

Attention is at stake

How attentive can we be? How much time do we have? Both time and attention are not infinite. Capturing reader’s interest is a good goal that many can achieve with smart tactics. Keeping it, though, is not a piece of cake. Attention “stays” where quality thrives. Clicks and pageviews are just superficial data when it comes to publishing. However, if your content piques the reader’s intrigue, this is an excellent beginning. Then only time (and data) can tell whether you have really earned the reader’s mind in a more persistent way. This is the point when attention becomes a metric of success. When it comes to monetization, traffic becomes irrelevant. Audience is King.

The right data can give another prism to publishers. Namely, not measuring the activity of their index fingers but the extent to which publishers have reached reader’s minds.

Clicking is not the end of the journey. It is the first step of getting somebody to read and then to keep them reading on. This is where data steps in: to help publishers create content readers would want to get back to.

Word of advice: Create, publish and present content that is worth reader’s time.

Image source: http://www.wadeharman.com

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