Product & Startup Builder

Attention Metrics and the Enterprise

Added on by Chris Saad.
Tim Bull takes up my post about Audient, Attent and Life Streams and asks how it can be applied to the Enterprise (Tim himself is responsible for adopting cutting edge stuff for his major enterprise employer).

He writes:

"I'm going to add to the call-to-arms from the Enterprise point of view. The ability to understand not just what people click on, but the attention they give to elements of the new, rich media world is crucial. Detailed information that goes beyond "IP Address loaded page X" and various derivatives of this is crucial."

He goes on to write:

"...I think we DO need a standard for aggregating attention data from all the different clients people use during a day, for the very simple reason that in Enterprises understanding what people are using and how they are using it is a crucial part of the delivery eco-system for information. It's the feedback loop that lets you know you're getting it right.

It may be useful for bloggers etc. as well, but I think the problem should be focused on the Enterprise as this is where the "real" need is (I show my bias here, but I don't believe I as a blogger need to know in great detail who looks at what, but as an Enterprise of 160,000 people globally I do need to understand where and how my information is flowing)."

I commented on Tim's post about Enterprise adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and philosophies. I will re-phrase and expand it here...

I agree that Enterprises would greatly benefit from the sort of tools and philosophies that are happening out here on the edge. The marketplace, however, does not make it friendly for startups to target the enterprise.

Most enterprises are wary of change. Even when they are open to trying new things, most (rightly) require many more features to make the solution work in an enterprise environment - which can be a cost that startups can't absorb straight out of the gate.

Even if a startup is willing to tackle these barriers, however, they have to invest in sales and support teams to generate adoption. After all that, most enterprises don't trust small startups and just wait for the big vendors to come with similar offerings.

Attensa and Newsgator are doing a great job fighting to create adoption in Enterprise 2.0 - but they are, by the nature of their target market, forced to be conservative in their implementations and focus on a lot of plumbing and command and control issues that bog down investment in innovation for end-users.

All that being said, however, it is clear that consumer technologies are quickly being adopted by enterprises because those technologies are usually more end-user focused.

There was nothing worse than the old CRM and ERP systems that ended up causing a lot of headaches for end-users because they focused on enterprise objectives rather than making someone's day better.

By breeding technologies in the consumer market and then adapting them to the enterprise, the result is much more user-friendly. They have to be. Because end-users don't have management telling them they have to use the given tool. In the end, enterprises are forced to adapt to the most popular tools. They are still working on getting IM support right.

Getting back to the original subject, however. I agree with Tim that forging an open standard for Audient and Attent Streams can have profound impacts for both the media and for business. It could be based on Attention.XML but it would need to encapsulate far more information than just clickstreams and form data.