Welcome to the Attention Economy


Once upon a time, a group of brave young scientists decided to compare the attention spans of humans and goldfish. In 2000, humans had a several-second advantage over the goldfish regarding attention, but since 2010, the goldfish has surpassed humankind. In the digital age, the average human’s attention span is only 8 seconds, while a goldfish can concentrate on something for a whopping 9.


What does this mean for businesses in the digital age?

As a brand, it’s become even harder to compete for your target customer’s attention. Although, there are several proven metrics for gauging how well your audience is paying attention to your brand and your content.

How can you measure audience attention?

You can accurately measure audience attention by considering how often your content is liked, loved, shared, or commented on.

People assess a brands credibility and gauge its trustworthiness within 50 milliseconds of first viewing a website or landing page. If you want to know whether your audience is paying attention to your content and finds it credible or trustworthy, you need to pay attention to how often they interact with it, and what type of interaction is taking place.

A comment or share is a much more robust indication of trust, credibility, and attention than only a ‘like’ or a ‘love.’ A ‘like’ or a ‘love’ doesn’t entail much investment on the consumer’s end, although a ‘like’ or a ‘love’ will still shed a favorable light upon you. People want to associate with that which is popular, and likes and loves do indicate popularity.

But with a comment, they viewer is making a time investment in your content by responding to it and possibly hoping for a response back. A ‘share’ indicates an investment of their own credibility by associating with your content.

So, how can you get people to pay more attention to your brand?

The first thing you need to consider is your content. Is it engaging, well-written, valuable, and informative? Research says that if your content is riddled with poor grammar and spelling mistakes, you’re actively sabotaging your brand’s credibility. Also, if your content is uninspiring, people may not necessarily find you untrustworthy, but they won’t pay any attention to it. Give your viewers interactive, informative content while still being fun and they’ll more likely pay attention to what you have to say. Furthermore, you want to add a call-to-action to your content.

This way, you’re inviting the reader to respond by either liking, sharing, or commenting. Better yet, specifically ask for a comment or share since it adds more weight and credibility to what you’re saying, not to mention on social media, the algorithms will look upon you more favorably with the more interaction your brand receives.

In this way, attention is an economy. The more people you get to interact with your brand, the more the algorithm will show your content to more consumers. Attention compounds upon itself. If you want to gain consumer trust and build your brand’s credibility, don’t ignore the attention economy.

Brands and Businesses, Pay Attention to the Attention Economy

Have a listen to this latest TED Podcast: Attention Please. It should offer some additional insights.

Thanks again for paying attention 😉

Start Acting More Childish

Why the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism.


I recently listened to the TED podcast about how we get wiser with age. It touched on many different people and what experiences attributed to this claim. What I uncovered was that age doesn’t necessarily make you wiser, and being “childish” is a good thing.

In an interview with child prodigy, Adora Svitak, she talks about how the world needs more “childish” thinking. And that the word itself shouldn’t carry the negative connotation it does among grown-ups. It should be redefined so that acting “childish” means to enable us to dream up big ideas, be wild and creative, optimistic, fun and free.

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She goes on to call-out that in fact if the world would adapt to being more “childish”, that we might not be living in such tough times. We might not be living in an era where negativity, fraud and distrust are becoming the new normal. And that grown-ups need to be more willing to learn from children as much as to teach them.

I for one, couldn’t agree more. I’ve always thought that taking yourself too seriously dilutes the essence of life and most certainly creativity. That if you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. With this shift in behavior, people, companies, brands and cultures can shape a better world. A world where we’re inspiring our peers more than ever, rather than frightening or appalling them. One where big dreams deserve high expectations. And where fundamental honesty becomes the core attribute in what we are marketing or selling.

Now, there’s no way this will happen overnight, but if we all were to start acting a bit more “childish”, and let our imaginations run free, then maybe, just maybe, we could get there soon.

Here are some quotes we live by at Canopy that reflect the heart of this post, and the spirit behind what Adora preaches. We use them in our signatures so that we never forget to behave this way, and our colleagues don’t either:

  • “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”
  • “Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.”
  • “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

Now go on, do something childish!