Brad Feld

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Do I Have Your Attention?

Oct 16, 2007
Category Investments

If you go deep into the Feld Thoughts archive bin – way back to December 5, 2005 – I wrote a post called It’s The Trust, Stupid.  I still like that post, especially since it shows off my yoda like haiku writing non-ability.

It’s the trust, stupid
Pay attention people
Relevance it is

“Attention” has continued to be an abstract concept that is frequently talked about by a subset of the tech crowd.  Due to the short attention span nature of our industry, it has largely been supplanted by talk about Facebook, which seems to have most of the current attention (pun intended.)  However, for those of you that have forgotten, there is still this thing called the Web out there that has a lot of interesting data – much of which is a mess.

Nick Bradbury – the creator of FeedDemon (still the best client side RSS aggregator on Windows – by a million miles) – has been working on figuring out how to deal with “attention” for as long as I’ve known him.  I remember a Gnomedex several years ago where Attention.XML was all the rage even though I couldn’t wrap my mind around how it would actually work.  If you had recorded our conversation from then and played it back to us, it probably wouldn’t make any sense to you, unless you were a martian.

Nick and his buddies at NewsGator have continued to pound away at this.  Yesterday they announced that three of NewsGator’s client side products – FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, and NewsGator Inbox will support APML.  In case you aren’t familiar with APML, its an acronym for “Attention Profiling Mark-up Language.”  While it’s another in the long line of ML’s – I expect Nick’s involvement to move this from a generally abstract concept to something that lots of people can actually use.

Some day my computer will actually do all the work for me.  And I won’t have to double-click this silly mouse thing so much.

Tags: newsgator,+attention,+apml,+feeddemon