The attention merchants: the epic scramble to get inside our heads

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From Tim Wu, author of the award-winning The Master Switch ( a New Yorker and Fortune Book of the Year) and who coined the term "net neutrality"--a revelatory, ambitious and urgent account of how the capture and re-sale of human attention became the defining industry of our time. Feeling attention challenged? Even assaulted? American business depends on it. In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of messaging, advertising enticements, branding, sponsored social media, and other efforts to harvest our attention. Few moments or spaces of our day remain uncultivated by the "attention merchants," contributing to the distracted, unfocused tenor of our times. Tim Wu argues that this condition is not simply the byproduct of recent technological innovations but the result of more than a century's growth and expansion in the industries that feed on human attention. From the pre-Madison Avenue birth of advertising to the explosion of the mobile web; from AOL and the invention of email to the attention monopolies of Google and Facebook; from Ed Sullivan to celebrity power brands like Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump, the basic business model of "attention merchants" has never changed: free diversion in exchange for a moment of your consideration, sold in turn to the highest-bidding advertiser. Wu describes the revolts that have risen against the relentless siege of our awareness, from the remote control to the creation of public broadcasting to Apple's ad-blocking OS. But he makes clear that attention merchants are always growing new heads, even as their means of getting inside our heads are changing our very nature--cognitive, social, political and otherwise--in ways unimaginable even a generation ago. "A startling and sweeping examination of the increasingly ubiquitous commercial effort to capture and commodify our attention...We've become the consumers, the producers, and the content. We are selling ourselves to ourselves." --Tom Vanderbilt, The New Republic "An erudite, energizing, outraging, funny and thorough history...A devastating critique of ad tech as it stands today, transforming "don't be evil" into the surveillance business model in just a few short years. It connects the dots between the sale of advertising inventory in schools to the bizarre ecosystem of trackers, analyzers and machine-learning models that allow the things you look at on the web to look back at you...This stuff is my daily beat, and I learned a lot from Attention Merchants ." --Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing "Illuminating." --Jacob Weisberg, The New York Review of Books
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ISBN:
9780385352017
9780385352024
9781524709273
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Grouping Title attention merchants the epic scramble to get inside our heads
Grouping Author wu tim
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-11-12 22:44:03PM
Last Indexed 2019-11-13 00:24:58AM

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display_description "From Tim Wu, author of the award-winning The Master Switch and who coined the phrase "net neutrality"--A revelatory look at the rise of "attention harvesting," and its transformative effect on our society and our selves. Attention merchant: an industrial-scale harvester of human attention. A firm whose business model is the mass capture of attention for resale to advertisers. In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of advertising enticements, branding efforts, sponsored social media, commercials and other efforts to harvest our attention. Over the last century, few times or spaces have remained uncultivated by the "attention merchants," contributing to the distracted, unfocused tenor of our times. Tim Wu argues that this is not simply the byproduct of recent inventions but the end result of more than a century's growth and expansion in the industries that feed on human attention. From the pre-Madison Avenue birth of advertising to TV's golden age to our present age of radically individualized choices, the business model of "attention merchants" has always been the same. He describes the revolts that have risen against these relentless attempts to influence our consumption, from the remote control to FDA regulations to Apple's ad-blocking OS. But he makes clear that attention merchants grow ever-new heads, and their means of harvesting our attention have given rise to the defining industries of our time, changing our nature--cognitive, social, and otherwise--in ways unimaginable even a generation ago"--
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subject_facet Advertising -- Psychological aspects -- History
Advertising -- Social aspects -- History
Consumer behavior -- History
Marketing -- History
title_display The attention merchants : the epic scramble to get inside our heads
title_full The Attention Merchants The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads
The attention merchants : the epic scramble to get inside our heads / Tim Wu
title_short The attention merchants :
title_sub the epic scramble to get inside our heads
topic_facet Advertising
Business
Consumer behavior
History
Marketing
Nonfiction
Psychological aspects
Social aspects
Sociology