When Dare Obasanjo and Jason McCabe Calacanis come out swinging against forward motion in attention, you know something important is happening. Both are important figures in this reboot we're calling Web 2.0, and their concerns should be examined carefully. Dare has been critical of attention in the past primarily because he doesn't see why vendors would be interested or willing to give up their metadata. He hasn't responded to the question: whose metadata? It's our metadata, Dare.
Jason seems to be zoning in on the same idea, that AttentionTrust is going after Google (or MSN in Dare's view.) Again, if people want to take ownership of their metadata, that will be a good thing for anybody who migrates along with users to a new paradigm. That new paradigm: streaming gestures of intention to the cloud(s) rather than waiting like needles to be picked out of the search haystack. No reason why Google or Publishers should fear this unless they refuse to engage directly with their customers.
What both of these gentlemen (and all of us) should be afraid of is port and app blocking of the type Om Malik suggests is just over the horizon. Om says the carriers are going to come down on our marketplace of information in the person of Skype. What stands between us and these guys. Google. What happens when municipal wifi of the type Google is set to deliver in Mountain View and hopefully in SF is switched on? What happens when Microsoft switches on Seattle. Or IBM New York. What happens when attention services leverage that network for better pricing, two-way targetted RSS marketing, attention gesture stream aggregation, and affinity farms.
One more thing: when someone tells you how long something is going to take to make a difference, divide by 10. 10 years, 1 year. 5 years, 6 months. A year, a month and a half. When Dare says we need to wait on standards, he's right. But he's off by a factor of 10. At Arrington's house the other night, Scoble and I were continuing our discussion with a few of the folks from the parking lot at Dave Winer's Berkeley dinner. I was getting slammed about saying that Office was dead. The CEO of a major startup soon to be bought by Google agreed with me, saying Writely works just fine.
Remember way back two months ago when I was getting slammed for saying Office was dead. You know, before Joel Spolsky and before Office Live and before Jim Allchin's retirement and before GYM and before Scoble got attention and before OPML got attention and before Ray Ozzie got attention? Wait, that hasn't happened yet. You think?