The concept of attention is defined as focused mental engagement on a particular item of information. Items come into our awareness, we attend to a particular item, and then we decide whether to act.
One approach to the management of attention is to apply economic theory to treat human attention as a scarce commodity to solve various information management problems. Such an approach is referred to as the “attention economy.”
“The wealth of information means the dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.”
— Herbert A. Simon
In the information age, social media and user-generated content sites currently account for a large amount of our time and attention spent on a daily basis. Countless hours have been spent scrolling through status updates on Facebooks, tweets on Twitter, photos on Instagram and videos on Youtube.
U Network proposes to leverage on an understanding of the driving principles behind the attention economy and place an emphasis on the quality of content as opposed to the output quantity. The changes implemented could potentially ensure that a consistent stream of high quality content will be offered to their regular users while the efforts of content explorers and curators are rewarded generously in return for the attention they have provided.
With a robust pricing mechanism backed by mathematical applications, U Network will redistribute rewards using free-market principles and pricing systems. This would ensure greater fairness and transparency across the different demographics and subsets of users and allow all participants to use the network in their ideal fashion.
Content explorers would be free to delve into large quantities of content to sieve out the high-quality ones, knowing they would be compensated for their efforts, whereas regular users can maximize the time and attention spent on the network by going through content that has been curated and verified to be held to a high quality.