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  • Attention Economy (4)
    Marketing+ 2007. 7. 20. 16:46
    Attention Economy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_economy

    Email Spam

    Several researchers have proposed treating spam as "information pollution" and applying Ronald Coase's ideas to control it.

    Sending huge numbers of emails costs spammers very little, since the costs of email messages are spread out over the internet service providers that distribute them (and the recipients who must spend attention dealing with them). Thus sending out as much spam as possible is a rational strategy: even if only 0.001% of recipients (1 in 100,000) is converted into a sale, a spam campaign can be profitable (Mangalindan 2002). Spammers are demanding valuable attention from potential customers, but they are avoiding paying a fair price for this attention due to the current architecture of email systems.

    One way this might be implemented is by charging senders a small fee per email sent. It might be close to free for an advertiser to send a single email to a single recipient, but sending that same email to 1000 recipients would cost him 1000 times as much. A 2002 experiment with this kind of usage-based email pricing found that it caused senders to spend more effort targeting their messages to recipients who would find them relevant, thus shifting the cost of deciding whether a given email is relevant from the recipient to the sender (Kraut 2002).

    Closely related is the idea of selling "interrupt rights," or small fees for the right to demand one's attention (Fahlman 2002). The cost of these rights could vary according to the interruptee: interrupt rights for the CEO of a Fortune 500 company would presumably be extraordinarily expensive, while those of a high school student might be more reasonable. Costs could also vary for an individual depending on context, perhaps rising during the busy holiday season and falling during the dog days of summer. Interruptees could decline to collect their fees from friends, family, and other welcome interrupters.

    Another idea in this vein is the creation of "attention bonds:" small warranties that some information will not be a waste of the recipient's time, placed into escrow at the time of sending (Loder, Van Alstyne & Wash 2004). Like the granters of interrupt rights, receivers could cash in their bonds to signal to the sender that a given communication was a waste of their time, or elect not to cash them in to signal that more communication would be welcome.

    Supporters of attention markets for controlling spam claim that their solutions are superior to the alternatives for managing uses of information systems on which there is no consensus on the question of whether it is pollution or not. For example, the use of email or text messages for rallying political support or by non-profit charitable organizations may be considered spam by some users but legitimate use by others. Laws against spam put the power to make this decision in the hands of government, while technological solutions like filtering technologies put it in the hands of private companies or technologically savvy users. A market-based solution, on the other hand, allows the possibility of individual negotiation over the worth of a given message rather than a unilateral decision by a controlling party (Loder, Van Alstyne & Wash 2004, p. 10). Such negotiation itself consumes attention and carries with it an attention cost, though.

    Reference for Wikipedia

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