Attention Theft and Other Crimes

By Deane Barker on August 11, 2003

Information Pollution: Nielsen is ranting again, although I think this just came from frustration, as he offers little practical advice. Fun to listen to him rant, though.

“The Internet is the worst polluter of all. Spam isn’t even pollution, it’s attention theft. But even legitimate email is typically copied to more people than necessary and contaminated by excess verbiage and endless reply loops. The Web is a procrastination apparatus: It can absorb as much time as is required to ensure that you won’t get any real work done. Sites overflow with either low-value stream-of-consciousness postings or bland corporatese.”

I like the concept of “attention theft.” I want compensation. Of course, I could just be providing “low-value stream-of-consciousness postings,” therefore being part of the problem. Doesn’t this seem like Nielsen is attacking the concept of blogging? This should go over well. Someone get some popcorn.



  1. Compensation? Of course you want compensation. You’re the poster child for this problem in the same way the 80 year old life-long smoker with lung cancer is to the tobacco industry.

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