Attention is not Automation

Steve Gillmor, creator of Attention.xml and one of the leading thinkers on Attention in general, gives us this post on many things, including the importance of APIs as well as the following quote: “Attention is not automation; it’s the aggregation of gestures that model our instincts, hopes, and ethics.”.

Steve Gillmor, creator of Attention.xml and one of the leading thinkers on Attention in general, gives us this post on many things, including the importance of APIs as well as the following quote: “Attention is not automation; it’s the aggregation of gestures that model our instincts, hopes, and ethics.”.

This could be the most important quote about attention that I’ve seen yet, and I think that the automation/aggregation distinction is one we’ll be dealing with a whole lot more in Web 2.0.

When thinking about the scary topic of automating human behavior, think about what we do when we do contextual inquiry, going out into the world and getting into the context of someone else. We sit down, observe them, discover their needs, and use that to inform design. On the Web, we’re aggregating data to do the same thing…and sometimes, just sometimes, it works. Don’t be afraid of it. Just be careful.

Published: May 9th, 2005

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