Most individuals are unaware of the power and value of their attention and content. When they post on social media or like an influencer’s Instagram photo, they are unaware that they are engaging in the attention economy. They presumably don’t receive any material benefits for doing so, which is the likely reason. This issue has been on the minds and lips of Web 3.0 enthusiasts for some time. Is today’s attention economy just that? Not really, no. Is it modifiable? Yes, it is possible, and Web 3.0 is already providing some answers.
Web3 Is the Creator Economy of the Future several problems with the attention economy. The primary issue with the internet today is that it is centralized, which implies that Web 2.0 is governed by a small group of enormous tech companies. Walled gardens are ecosystems that certain companies, completely control. Owners of such ecosystems are free to alter the rules for users and collect their data in order to monetize it through targeted advertising. Many people consider the Web 2.0 status quo to be problematic. Web 3.0 proponents typically refer to the following when discussing Web 2.0 challenges in terms of the attention economy:
Internet consumers always thought that free social networks and search engines were the products, but in today’s attention economy, more and more individuals are realizing that their data is the product. Tech oligarchies track and collect our data, which they then sell to advertisers. Every time we publish something on social media, we create important data that these businesses can utilize to make billions of dollars in profit.
As City College of New York professor Karen Gregory once put it, “Big data, like Soylent Green, is built of people.” She referred to the dystopian American movie Soylent Green, in which individuals were employed covertly to create food for a society that was on the verge of extinction as a result of a massive ecological catastrophe.
The comparison might sound harsh, but in our capitalist society with its ever-increasing inequality, many people find it unjust that extremely wealthy and powerful firms take the data that users produce to generate billions of dollars without sharing it with others. Furthermore, social networking sites view our content as their own. No matter how much time and effort you put into a piece of content, they have the right to delete it. No author can actually monetize their work in the current attention economy because they are only paid for social media posts when a brand supports them. In the meantime, value is created by artists, not by tech companies. Without the content that people would want to pay attention to, social media platforms are useless. Users create the content, so it exists. Data protection concerns include:
In actuality, we are hardly ever aware of how social media platforms are using our data. The worst part is that they frequently don’t adequately protect it, which results in user data leaks. For instance, 533 million Facebook users’ personal information was leaked publicly by hackers in 2021. Additionally, this is not the first time Mark Zuckerberg’s business has disappointed its employees. For selling user data to a political consulting firm, in 2019, which helped Donald Trump win the election and become president.
Lack of ability to pay for content: There is a notion that individuals should pay for the content they are accustomed to receiving for free if they don’t want their data to be hijacked by internet giants. Unfortunately, there is a strong likelihood that this plan will fail. First off, even if you pay, your data may still be collected. Second, many people do not have the option to pay for materials due to the current state of the world economy. Sincerely, I feel like the debate between paying for material with no ads and receiving free content at the expense of numerous commercials is now irrelevant.
In the past, one of the fundamental elements of the attention economy and digital advertising models was the cookie. They are little pieces of information that are downloaded to a user’s computer during internet browsing. They might be necessary for the website or tracker to operate. The latter are gathering user data in order to make use of it for advertising purposes.
However, internet users were already aware of cookies far before that, and the notion of turning them off has been gaining ground. Therefore, marketers must search for fresh ways to engage with consumers.
The metrics fraud: Because advertisers want their ads to be noticed and clicked, views and interactions have traditionally been used to gauge the effectiveness of digital advertising. Big digital firms frequently brag about how many users view advertisements on their sites. The race was heated.
However, it was discovered that views and interactions can be easily faked using malware, and that traffic is occasionally made up entirely of bots rather than actual customers. Of course, that infuriates the advertisers. They now have even more reasons to be very interested in looking for alternatives to ensure that their advertisements are noticed.
The intrusiveness of targeted ads: It irritates us that targeted ads can prevent us from engaging with social media content. For instance, they can show up at random in the middle of a video or among the material we’ve selected to follow. Users no longer enjoy seeing even high-quality content, and the work that producers put into their work is underappreciated.
It will fundamentally alter how users, advertisers, and social media platforms interact in the near future. The masses will have power thanks to Web 3.0. Although it may sound haughty, it is accurate.
How is that even doable? First of all, Web 3.0 will give people control of their data, allowing them to treat it as if it were their own property. Second, it will give you the opportunity to get compensated for the social media activities you already do, such as posting and liking. You have the ability to make money off the attention you offer and receive with either choice. The good thing about Web 3.0 is that it emphasizes honest ownership throughout. Your data can be an NFT with easily traceable ownership, just like a work of art. You can monetize or offer your data on your terms if you own it, knowing who will use it and how.
Consider Permission, a Web 3.0 advertising platform that links companies and consumers while rewarding the latter with cryptocurrency in exchange for their data and involvement. Additionally, there is the Ocean Protocol, a market place where data is auctioned for NFTs and data tokens.
Another site of its kind is Datacoup. It offers customers money, deals, and cryptocurrencies in return for their personal information. Another illustration is the Gen Z-focused app, which allows users to get paid for seeing advertisements. There are numerous additional services available, and soon customers will be able to choose the package that is most appropriate for them. Thus, the new era of the creative economy will result from these major modifications to the attention economy.
In Web 3.0, artists, singers, and other content producers won’t have to rely on businesses or tech companies to sponsor their work in order to make a living because their fans will be able to give them money directly through subscriptions, merch sales, and contributions. The great thing about it is that it allows even novices and niche producers to make money off of their work, making it a democratic and inclusive system. Having these options will enable artists to be pickier about the brands they choose to work with. It will eventually result in influencers creating more truthful and superior advertising, which will have more credibility with customers.
Naturally, it’s too early to predict how Web 3.0 specifically alters the advertising sector and the attention economy. For those who value their privacy, it presents a potential chance to rebalance the attention economy and get a fair share for themselves. Additionally, it transforms the creative economy in a way that is advantageous to writers themselves, their fans, and marketers who are keen to work with influencers.
However, those who participate in the new attention economy will encounter some difficulties. For instance, Web 3.0 chances are currently fairly limited as not everyone can use them. Web 3.0 has a limited number of platforms and services as well. There will be more of them, but it’s hard to say how rapidly things will move. In any case, the Web 3.0 creative economy will expand and draw in more players over time, and one day, our children will be able to earn a living off of activities that we currently perform for free. They will have to decide each day whether they want to make or consume content in order to make money.