"The general principle is simple enough, though: stop paying attention to irrelevant online fluff that does not matter, and start paying attention to what goes on around you. There is more of it than you might suspect, and it is more possible to change than you might imagine."

The ontology of the attention economy, explained by means of cat pictures
by @sargoth


@ultimape @sargoth the other thing I missed from the article is how every so often those accounts with collection of cute cat pictures and millions of followers are sold for advertising companies, where they quickly spread some ads before people realize what was going on. Twitter is so guilty of this since you can change not just your display name, but also your handle.

@uint8_t yeah, that sound about right. I'll admit to skimping on the details re what happens to big accounts in the interest of keeping things imaginably short

@uint8_t @sargoth I know a 15 year old kid who sells product placement on a meme feed at $50 for 100k impressions. I think he runs hundreds across multiple platforms.

For every pure passion one (like dogrates), there are easily thousands of copycats doing it for the money.

Many just scrape Reddit for content. Advanced ones use stuff like Amazon Turk to filter out.

Not all of them are sold for advertising either. There's an underground market for stolen Facebook page credentials.

@uint8_t @sargoth same thing happens on YouTube in a way. Vines and stuff like /r/gifsound being automatically turned into collections, it's a sort of variations on freebooting.

In an ironic way these things make for excellent archival content sources. They can also act a proxy for sniffing out the big mood. Any real human engagement tends to be a function of emotional aspects on attention.

Reading the hivemind... With cat pics.

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