Four ways we pay attention

When we're reading what journalists and advertising copy writers have written, we may experience any of the following:
  1. our attention being grabbed and stolen away from what we really wanted to pay attention to
  2. our attention being gotten by them so we pay attention to something we would not have otherwise considered
  3. our attention being paid to something that has been already been given a lot of attention
  4. our attention being given to something we intended to pay attention to
The first two ways of getting our attention are endemic to push models and delivery systems. We are getting forced fed by experts who supposedly know what's best for us -- while they are serving their own interests in commercial success and profitability. The unilateral dynamics allow for mass production and mass consumption.

The second two ways are characteristic of pull models and discovery systems We are getting paid attention to and pay attention in return. We feel we are getting respected, understood and well served while helping the enterprise succeed. The reciprocal dynamics require long tail, indie providers to serve small niches and channels.

Journalism 1.0 has mastered the art of grabbing and getting our attention with headlines, hooks at the top of stories and photo inserts. Print advertisers have done the same. With their revenues in decline, both are wanting to be trusted after centuries of acting like thieves and exploiters of our attention. They don't know how to pay attention to readers in ways that will get attention paid in return. They don't see problems with their push models and delivery systems for mass production. They assume they can move online and return to "grabbing and getting" our attention, a.k.a. "business as usual". I don't think so.

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