Human-factors. The Key To Consistent Creativity and Productivity. How long can you concentrate and focus on one thing before your energy and attention begins to falter?
How long does it take you to engage in a particular thing to make the effort of engagement worth it? The answers to those two questions make up (what I’m calling) your engagement threshold, and figuring out your engagement threshold is probably the most important thing you can do to become more consistently creative and productive. A long time ago, I wrote a post called A General Theory of Productivity, in which I said that one of the components of an effective productivity system is “Ideal Time.”
I’ve been working with that idea in one form or the other for the last year (and change), and your ideal time is identical to your engagement threshold. Your engagement threshold consists of three factors: How long you can work on one thingHow long it’ll take you to get something meaningful doneA consideration of the particular task at hand I’ll explain each of these, in sequence. Findings - Ear Plugs to Lasers - The Science of Concentration - APML - Attention Profiling Mark-up Language.
"Web 2.0" is the New. A number of people have been riffing on the how “Web 2.0” is the new vendor lock-in.
The week started with a post by Alex Iskold entitled Towards the Attention Economy: Will Attention Silos Ever Open Up? Where he wrote At a quick glance there maybe nothing wrong with the way things are today. For example, you can login to Amazon and see your order history, you can see what you rented on Netflix or what you bought on eBay. The problem is that the information is not readily portable and not readily available via a common interface. Of course, not every “Web 2.0” company is like Netflix and some do provide APIs for getting out your data. Praising companies for providing APIs to get your own data out is like praising auto companies for not filling your airbags with gravel.
Back in the day, I thought Steve Gillmor’s AttentionTrust was a step in the direction of a Free Data movement but since then all I’ve seen out of that crowd was either irrelevant (e.g. But whose data is it?? What the (social) attention is not? : nico’s blog. Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Sharecropping the long ta. A while back I wrote that Web 2.0, by putting the means of production into the hands of the masses but withholding from those same masses any ownership over the product of their work, provides an incredibly efficient mechanism to harvest the economic value of the free labor provided by the very many and concentrate it into the hands of the very few.
Richard MacManus’s new analysis of web traffic patterns helps illustrate the point. Despite the explosion of web content, spurred in large part by the reduction in the cost of producing and consuming that content, web traffic appears to be growing more concentrated in a few sites, not less. Using data from Compete, MacManus shows that the top ten sites accounted for 40% of total internet page views in November 2006, up from 31% in November 2001, a 29% increase. The greater concentration comes during a period when the number of domains on the web nearly doubled, from 2.9 million to 5.1 million. More on this subject: The sharecroppers’ tools. Are Sites Like Digg, YouTube And MySpace Still Exploitation If P.