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Books & Articles I wrote.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Continuous Partial Attention

I was talking by email with Linda Stone about her thoughts on soemthing called Continuous Partial Attention which i was directed to by Joi Ito.

My views are probably orthogonal to the concept of CPA as she sees it, but it did strike a chord based on some things i have read in the last few years and how i operate day to day ....

I'm only recently reading about your thoughts so some comments may not
hit the mark on what CPA really conerns, but i'll add my comments

In Smart Mobs, there is talk of kids (in Korea i think) that can walk
talking with their parents whilst participating in a peer based chat,
typing using mobiles in their pockets! When i read about CPA i thought
of this immediately.

My view on a distributed CPA would be this. Consider a sine wave.
Something like how you may operate through the day (it's not as
regular as that, but possibly not so far away either), every so often
dedicating your attention to things outside the norm and then back to
your core objective.

Now, consider adding some noise to that wave. These are my signals (we
all have different signals) - they all vary - things like reputation,
source, physical or electronic and so on all play their part in adding
noise. My normal daily course will then be influenced based on the
noise of others - indeed, the "noise" from Joi Ito's blog (his
reputation, good blog quality and interesting paragraph "signals")
brought me to your paper, despite me scanning over 500 blog posts in
Bloglines. There is probably a relation between the noise and the time
you have to evaluate the noise (for me it's about 5 mins every hour).

So, i am trying to stay connected as much as possible, but can only do
that through various signals i get from others - your posts on CPA
will now add additional noise - if that's not to harsh a term :)

It can be good and bad as you say. I would rarely use CPA when with my
son or wife (at least i'd try to filter out most of the noise!) but
day to day it would be invaluable for me, but i'm struggling to learn
how to stay connected, but not read everything, or try everything or
watch every video or podcast.

You know, i created something called taghop a long while back really
to try and catch the "buzz" of cyberspace so you could have some level
of feeling part of a community and staying in touch - a softer type of
multi-tasking. It works for me :) I'm actually reading about ebaY just
now ("The Perfect Store") and what *I* think of CPA (which may be
different from what the actual story is!) applies in online Auctions
in a big way.

These are just my initial thoughts mainly because i had looked into

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