Seth Goldstein (whose excellent Media Future essays I linked to earlier this month), Steve Gillmor and Hank Barry have formed the AttentionTrust, "a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the basic rights of attention owners" -- that's all of us. Goldstein and Gillmor have recently posted about this effort on their weblogs. Links: Gillmor, Goldstein. Although the concept has been around for more than 20 years (see, for example, the writings of Michael H. Goldhaber here and here and Georg Franck here), and while it is implemented at Amazon and elsewhere, Gillmor has been the primary advocate for standardizing the tracking of attention.
Because of the power of tracking attention, both for site owners and site users, attention owners deserve some protection from the abuse of this information. The AttentionTrust posits four basic rights: Property -- I own my attention and I can store it securely in private; Mobility -- I can move my attention wherever I want whenever I want to; Economy -- I can pay attention to whomever I wish and be paid for it; and Transparency -- I can see how my attention is being used. Interesting ideas. --Dennis