Don't Mention It

I've been waiting for someone to notice the last edition of the Gillmor Gang, and now this guy has. Nice job.
Written by Steve Gillmor, Contributor on

I've been waiting for someone to notice the last edition of the Gillmor Gang, and now this guy has. Nice job. Seth Goldstein's Root Vault app is now live and although I've been too busy to download it, I'm thrilled to see ideas Seth told me about at last year's Emerging Tech conference see the light of day. As the blogosphere pores over the Gates/Ozzie Letters and everybody from Joe Wilcox to, well, everybody searches their archives for I-Told-You-So's, Dave Winer still ignores attention. Why is that, you ask? Ask Dave.

Here's what I think: Dave wants OPML to lead the reboot of what Bill Gates calls the services wave, and what I call the RSS wave. I think OPML would be a great surf board on which to ride. So far, win win for me and Dave. But attention mines not only the linkosphere that Dave (some, including me, say largely) pioneered, but more significantly the silenceosphere. By this I mean that attention gestures record not just the intentions of the user but the lack of intention, no, the very avoidance of interest.

Now, here's my theory: Those who have read Dave for years can spot themes in Dave's pantheon by two rough metrics--what he points to, talks about, and, crucially, what he doesn't point to, talk about, or in any way recognize the existence of. I've been very lucky to receive plenty of the first category, and also plenty of the second. Lucky to be ignored? Absolutely. Because as Dave and I have often discussed, Dave (and I) feel no compunction, and in fact, are sometimes highly motivated about not pointing at something that everybody has already seen.

Again, win win. Reader saves time, is treated with respect as an RSS consumer who already has sent gestures of intent about what interests him or her, and in general, what you don't know won't hurt you or something like that. Just kidding about the last part. So why does Dave run from attention? Not kidding on this one; it's a nifty pun, though.

Here's my Top Ten Reasons why Dave Winer doesn't pay attention to attention.

10. He didn't invent it.

9. He did invent it but then donated it to Harvard and now is working on reinventing it again.

8. He doesn't believe that his silence algorithm can be cloned.

7. He has no silence algorithm; he just forgot to mention attention for 757 consecutive days.

6.  He secretly adores attention and me and is trying to create a groundswell of silence that will burst with an epochal Attention Big Bang minutes before Office Live goes beta.

5. Jim Allchin agreed to retire if Dave agreed not to mention attention.

4. He doesn't believe in attention, just Yoko and me.

3. Scoble is out of control and he doesn't want to encourage him.

2. Does he have to have a reason?

and the Number One reason why Dave Winer doesn't pay attention to attention:

1. He wants all the attention for himself.

Me, I think it's number 4. But all I can ask is that Dave keep it not coming. By not calling attention to attention, he's made it the subject of the next O'Reilly Emerging Tech conference a pandemic of Memoranum/  TechCrunch/ Attensa/ Tailrank/ Rojo/ FeedDemon/ AttentionTech/ NewsBurst/ VC/ John Hegel Rubelian measles, and the grist for another Steve Gillmor post about attention. Thanks Dave - keep up the good work.

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