Victus Spiritus


Capture the Stream

10 Jul 2009


The Stream

Steve Rubel poses a question "How to Captivate and Hold Attention in the Age of the Stream". He describes the flood of information and status updates as the way people use the Internet today and compared it to highway traffic. He's concerned with the challenge this poses to marketers as ads lose our attention. Steve answers his own question with:

The short answer is to be ubiquitous. To do so brands must not only participate in all of the key social spaces, but also engage all day and night in a way that builds relationships. The community must feel like you care more about them than yourself. That's the easiest way in an endless stream to make an impression today.

Here was my quick response that I'd like to clarify/extend further:

We are faced with a challenge. How do we create a monetization model based on our attention to fuel content we love? In the stream analogy to traffic you didn't mention having a smartphone with a video camera on hand. How about we address the consumer need for relevance filters, that scower and search our life streams by extracting the essence of our interests. A simple and tidey report will await us whenever we are ready to embrace the knowledge we care about from the Internet.

I'm working on a simple ad engine based on this, as a proof of concept. My hope is that I'm able to inspire talented and passionate developers to create dynamic and personalized slices of the web for each user. Targeted ads can help monetize our dearest content.

We have a dilemna. We don't know exactly how to create monetary value for something we care about, great content. We want to support great content but not have to pay for the right to read, watch, or listen to it.

As users we find great value in genuine referalls given by trusted sources. These sources can be friends from our social graph, or influential and respected authorities that have shown continued dedication to sharing their informed views about topics we care about.

Advertising will gain our attention when it provides value, and when it is pertinent to us. It will have to be both timely and unbiased.

Remove Advertising Company Bias

How can paid advertising come from genuine sources? When the users are paying for it. That's right, sometimes we'll pay for the right to hear the truth, uncluttered by spin doctoring. For subscriptions that are near free (less than 25cents per user per month) we'll look to our friends and associates to give genuine feedback and ratings to all companies and products. On top of this businesses won't even enter our peripheral view unless they pay for the right or are news worthy.

Instead of paying for a newspaper full of editorials and ads, we'll pay for an internet subscription that's full of genuine product reviews matched to our needs and interests. How much is the truth worth to us?