Omidyar Network Pays Attention

Rob Hof

I'm trying to get educated on the concept that our attention online is a valuable commodity that we can and should be able to take control of--even get compensated for by companies tapping into it. But I admit I'm still trying to figure out exactly what it all means and how it will work. Apparently I'm not alone.

Maybe it will help that the notion has now captured the attention, as it were, of people with money. At an SDForum panel on the topic tonight, ROOT Markets CEO Seth Goldstein mentioned that Omidyar Network, eBay founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar's mission-oriented investing group, will put a "substantial" sum into Attention Trust, which aims to give people more control of our Web travels--that is to say, our attention. I have a feeling that the many companies that profit from our attention, from Google and Yahoo to many a Web 2.0 startup, will be watching carefully.