Attention at Maximum Capacity

Mitch Smith of pxls2prnt happened to catch my rambling tweet about finding balance on the web. We chatted for a couple of beats and something must have reminded me of the conversation because, while I was doing my 750 words, I started writing about doing away with email subscriptions, RSS feeds and unused social networks.
Finding Balance Online

Suppose we actually had to pay for distractions? I mean, we already do, but we’ve gotten so good at deluding ourselves with rationalizations that, barring total meltdown, we’re not going to change our behavior. So, let’s pretend that the good people from SOPA decided to vent their frustrations by charging us for the use of the Internet.

May I Have Your Attention?

You have an allowance of 100 Attention Credits, which are redeemable at the SOPA Exchange Counting House. Social Media Networks are the most expensive, at 20 credits per network. RSS feeds are 12 credits per business-related subscription (SOPA doesn’t care about poetry or your daily inspiration fix.) Email subscriptions are 7 credits per subscription. Surfing is free, for now. But, don’t be surprised if SOPA targets Instapaper.

Well, it’s plain to see that if you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and one more network, you will be maxed out. No feeds for you! No email subscriptions, either, which might actually work, especially if you hate spam. Just make sure you turn off all email notifications. You wouldn’t want to run afoul of some arbitrary decision regarding metered email subscriptions funneled through regulated Social Media Networks.

If you like getting your information from news readers, you’re going to have to get rid of one or more of those networks. Mitch Mitchell can help you decide whether LinkedIn is for you. Check out his post, Marketing – LinkedIn. Before you trash your Twitter account, watch this video from Lisa Irby:

If you can’t see the video here, you can watch it on YouTube: Twitter – A Waste of Time?

I’m sure you get the point, so for the sake of your Attention Credits, let’s say you decide to keep three Social Media Networks. You can use the remaining 40 credits for up to three RSS feeds. Only three? Am I crazy? Well, no, SOPA is. They’re the ones who set the exchange rates. Personally, I think this an accurate valuation. Precious attention can be spent reading dozens of feeds. The links are easy to acquire and they tend to accumulate like iron filings on a magnet.

Well, this brings us to email subscriptions. There just aren’t enough Attention Credits to spread around! Even if you deleted all of your networks, you could have no more than 14 email subscriptions at one time. But, maybe the real question is, why do you need so many people to tell you what to do? Keep in mind, SOPA only charges for actionable subscriptions. My dad’s Movie Trivia Game is exempt. If you find one person to teach you everything, great! That person will probably recommend a couple of social networks, anyway, so there you go.

In summary, our fictitious SOPA would not have a problem with your spending the Attention Credits on two networks, four feeds and one email subscription. If SOPA implements the planned Internet Footprint Certificates, you can donate the unused five credits toward your Investment in Internet Marketing Education.

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