More disruption from Google: it’s patenting attention data display

Is your attention important? Google is patenting the display of it, the search engine journal is reporting today.

Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft, we better pay attention to this stuff! Steve Gillmor, we gotta get into AttentionTrust.org and figure out how to deal with attention data and make sure that customers and developers can build attention applications without paying Google.

Why is that important? Well, imagine a world where the map component, the advertising component, and other components on your Web page report back to Google what you are giving your attention to (and they will, I guarantee that!)

Then, who will be able to display the results of where you gave your attention? Only Google.

Comments

  1. I said so before in a previous comment here in the blog. This is a very important point. My identity/attention data should not be locked inside a particular service provider. This results in a rich-get-richer model that will lead to a clear winner and no competition. Much in the same way that no particular company should own the OS platform cof :)

  2. I said so before in a previous comment here in the blog. This is a very important point. My identity/attention data should not be locked inside a particular service provider. This results in a rich-get-richer model that will lead to a clear winner and no competition. Much in the same way that no particular company should own the OS platform cof :)

  3. MS is still behind copying Google. why doesn’t MS create their own ideas..like giving the devs extra time on anything..duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  4. MS is still behind copying Google. why doesn’t MS create their own ideas..like giving the devs extra time on anything..duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  5. Ah! This is a no-brainer. Google claims to own the patent on the display technology. My attention-paying habits are unique to me and I don’t give others permission to use them…unless they pay me royalties. Now where do I send the invoice….?

  6. Ah! This is a no-brainer. Google claims to own the patent on the display technology. My attention-paying habits are unique to me and I don’t give others permission to use them…unless they pay me royalties. Now where do I send the invoice….?

  7. Thank you for paying attention to this Mr Scoble. Google is an enormously complex, incredibly powerful, worm. Its sees activity on other pages through AdSense; it hears what users are looking for through AdWords. If it were to own the display of attention as its own intellectual property, what of our electronic identity would be left for ourselves? One giant worm is a problem. Many little ones is a solution. http://majestic.typepad.com/seth/2005/06/food_for_wormsk.html

  8. Thank you for paying attention to this Mr Scoble. Google is an enormously complex, incredibly powerful, worm. Its sees activity on other pages through AdSense; it hears what users are looking for through AdWords. If it were to own the display of attention as its own intellectual property, what of our electronic identity would be left for ourselves? One giant worm is a problem. Many little ones is a solution. http://majestic.typepad.com/seth/2005/06/food_for_wormsk.html

  9. John C Welch, seeing as Scoble didn’t complain about the patent in the post, kindly explain how your post is not a troll.

  10. John C Welch, seeing as Scoble didn’t complain about the patent in the post, kindly explain how your post is not a troll.

  11. “Its sees activity on other pages through AdSense; it hears what users are looking for through AdWords. If it were to own the display of attention as its own intellectual property, what of our electronic identity would be left for ourselves?”

    Well, you can’t get a patent on something as broad as attention data in general. Google’s patenting its own specific method of gathering data through its robust ad service. If they can prove that they were first with this method and that the method is unique, then they deserve to be awarded a patent on it.

    I’m not for ridiculous patents. One-click shopping? That was a given. Google, however, is a company spun from its unique methodology and I feel that it’s fair for them to be able to patent certain things that extend from that.

    Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft: You didn’t think you’d be able to continue copying Google without having to pay up, did you?

  12. “Its sees activity on other pages through AdSense; it hears what users are looking for through AdWords. If it were to own the display of attention as its own intellectual property, what of our electronic identity would be left for ourselves?”

    Well, you can’t get a patent on something as broad as attention data in general. Google’s patenting its own specific method of gathering data through its robust ad service. If they can prove that they were first with this method and that the method is unique, then they deserve to be awarded a patent on it.

    I’m not for ridiculous patents. One-click shopping? That was a given. Google, however, is a company spun from its unique methodology and I feel that it’s fair for them to be able to patent certain things that extend from that.

    Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft: You didn’t think you’d be able to continue copying Google without having to pay up, did you?

  13. How much of your attention does Google really have?

    Sounds like Google is updating or adding upon their TrustRank )which I first wrote about back in April 2005) with a new player ranking to be named later? UserRank maybe? So if that pans out they would have PR, TR and UR.
    Maybe that’s the mocki…

  14. “Its sees activity on other pages through AdSense; it hears what users are looking for through AdWords. If it were to own the display of attention as its own intellectual property, what of our electronic identity would be left for ourselves?”

    Well, you can’t get a patent on something as broad as attention data in general. Google’s patenting its own specific method of gathering data through its robust ad service. If they can prove that they were first with this method and that the method is unique, then they deserve to be awarded a patent on it.

    I’m not for ridiculous patents. One-click shopping? That was a given. Google, however, is a company spun from its unique methodology and I feel that it’s fair for them to be able to patent certain things that extend from that.

    Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft: You didn’t think you’d be able to continue copying Google without having to pay up, did you?

  15. “Its sees activity on other pages through AdSense; it hears what users are looking for through AdWords. If it were to own the display of attention as its own intellectual property, what of our electronic identity would be left for ourselves?”

    Well, you can’t get a patent on something as broad as attention data in general. Google’s patenting its own specific method of gathering data through its robust ad service. If they can prove that they were first with this method and that the method is unique, then they deserve to be awarded a patent on it.

    I’m not for ridiculous patents. One-click shopping? That was a given. Google, however, is a company spun from its unique methodology and I feel that it’s fair for them to be able to patent certain things that extend from that.

    Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft: You didn’t think you’d be able to continue copying Google without having to pay up, did you?

  16. You want to know what the first step is, Robert? Hire a smart business/geek/PR/marketing person to help translate the Godawful text on attentiontrust.org and to create a coherent, non-buzzword’y voice for this quest. When I first saw the site, I could have sworn I was looking at something from The Onion. “Assert your right to YOU!”?! “Attention owners”? This organization has a fricking *board of directors*? And worse yet, the people on other sites gleefully trying to explain the concepts make things even worse. I don’t have those links handy at the moment, but I remember asking myself “Are these people writing in English? And if so, are they saying anything even moderately comprehensible to normal humans?”

    And mind you, I’m a geek. If this stuff makes me go “HUH?!” then I can’t imagine how ANY non-geek (read: the billions of other people on the planet) would understand, much less care about these “attention” issues.

    And on a related gripe… Ken, I respectfully disagree with your rant:

    “My attention-paying habits are unique to me and I don’t give others permission to use them”

    First, you’re not as unique as you think you are. I’d be willing to bet that your clickstream is really really similar to a few thousand other people. You’re part of a lot of groups, subgroups. You’re only an individual in the philosophical sense ;)

    And yes, for the most part, you do give others permission to use them. Don’t like Google keeping track of what you visit and such? Don’t install the Google toolbar or use Gmail. Don’t want Microsoft to build a profile on you? Stop using Hotmail and other related services.

    * * *

    With that said, I *think* I may see some nuggets of goodness in the whole attention.xml thing. It indeed would be nice to not have information on where I click, what pages I visit, and what I buy to be SPLIT amongst a lot of big players; it’d be better to have it aggregated into one big bundle that I can consciously share when I want, and to whom I want.

    But that’s not a RIGHT. That’s a preference. I have the right not to use services by Microsoft, Y!, Google, Fred Inc., whatever. I don’t have a right (or at least a legal or philosophical one, IMHO) to complain when I don’t like what information is gleaned from my actions with players on the Web when I had a full opportunity to read and approve their terms of service.

    * * *

    Whew. I feel much better now :)

  17. You want to know what the first step is, Robert? Hire a smart business/geek/PR/marketing person to help translate the Godawful text on attentiontrust.org and to create a coherent, non-buzzword’y voice for this quest. When I first saw the site, I could have sworn I was looking at something from The Onion. “Assert your right to YOU!”?! “Attention owners”? This organization has a fricking *board of directors*? And worse yet, the people on other sites gleefully trying to explain the concepts make things even worse. I don’t have those links handy at the moment, but I remember asking myself “Are these people writing in English? And if so, are they saying anything even moderately comprehensible to normal humans?”

    And mind you, I’m a geek. If this stuff makes me go “HUH?!” then I can’t imagine how ANY non-geek (read: the billions of other people on the planet) would understand, much less care about these “attention” issues.

    And on a related gripe… Ken, I respectfully disagree with your rant:

    “My attention-paying habits are unique to me and I don’t give others permission to use them”

    First, you’re not as unique as you think you are. I’d be willing to bet that your clickstream is really really similar to a few thousand other people. You’re part of a lot of groups, subgroups. You’re only an individual in the philosophical sense ;)

    And yes, for the most part, you do give others permission to use them. Don’t like Google keeping track of what you visit and such? Don’t install the Google toolbar or use Gmail. Don’t want Microsoft to build a profile on you? Stop using Hotmail and other related services.

    * * *

    With that said, I *think* I may see some nuggets of goodness in the whole attention.xml thing. It indeed would be nice to not have information on where I click, what pages I visit, and what I buy to be SPLIT amongst a lot of big players; it’d be better to have it aggregated into one big bundle that I can consciously share when I want, and to whom I want.

    But that’s not a RIGHT. That’s a preference. I have the right not to use services by Microsoft, Y!, Google, Fred Inc., whatever. I don’t have a right (or at least a legal or philosophical one, IMHO) to complain when I don’t like what information is gleaned from my actions with players on the Web when I had a full opportunity to read and approve their terms of service.

    * * *

    Whew. I feel much better now :)

  18. “Then, who will be able to display the results of where you gave your attention? Only Google.”

    Both the browser and the OS on my system can grab this data pretty easily as well. It may be slightly less menacing for individual Google components to do it, but they can’t lock Microsoft out of the data for a large number of users. How easily users will accept any of this is another issue.

  19. “Then, who will be able to display the results of where you gave your attention? Only Google.”

    Both the browser and the OS on my system can grab this data pretty easily as well. It may be slightly less menacing for individual Google components to do it, but they can’t lock Microsoft out of the data for a large number of users. How easily users will accept any of this is another issue.

  20. Hey Brandon, How about Microsoft publicly committing to not making FolderShare a Windows – only technology as fast as possible? A nice statement from Ballmer, so we know it won’t be overridden.

  21. Hey Brandon, How about Microsoft publicly committing to not making FolderShare a Windows – only technology as fast as possible? A nice statement from Ballmer, so we know it won’t be overridden.

  22. Uh Oh: Google Just Patented Your Attention

    A few days ago I asked: Should Search Engines Log Your Search History? It looks like Google plans to do exactly that – and more. It seems they’ve filed a patent which will let them serve up search results by tracking your every move – online…

  23. according to my experience, everybody used to got same problem,so the formula of GenericScore should be expressed as:
    GenericScore = QueryScore + CurrentPageHitCount.(not PageRank)

  24. according to my experience, everybody used to got same problem,so the formula of GenericScore should be expressed as:
    GenericScore = QueryScore + CurrentPageHitCount.(not PageRank)

  25. So being “acquired” in the Brandon lexicon translates out to “doing something”? ;) Reduced to buying up easily-duped Austin start-uppy p2p ‘file storage slash file-synchronization’ rot? I wonder where this leaves Iomega? And Folder Share has a big resource fork issue, so I guess that makes it perfect for Microsoft. ;)

  26. So being “acquired” in the Brandon lexicon translates out to “doing something”? ;) Reduced to buying up easily-duped Austin start-uppy p2p ‘file storage slash file-synchronization’ rot? I wonder where this leaves Iomega? And Folder Share has a big resource fork issue, so I guess that makes it perfect for Microsoft. ;)

  27. Huh? We did the acquiring. Not sure what you’re getting at there.

    I thought maybe it’d be a hint to you of things to come.

    If you think this is about “easily-duped ‘file storage / file-sync rot’” then you’re obviously missing the point.

  28. Huh? We did the acquiring. Not sure what you’re getting at there.

    I thought maybe it’d be a hint to you of things to come.

    If you think this is about “easily-duped ‘file storage / file-sync rot’” then you’re obviously missing the point.

  29. For the love of god microsoft, buy AOL already, wtf is taking so long.

    you want attention data?! A O fucking L

    They have the all in one client you must install, you know the sites they go to, the keywords used most often, theres more attention data in that gold nugget then anyone can comprhend right now.

    scoble, why you aren’t pushing microsoft in this direction is beyond me!

  30. For the love of god microsoft, buy AOL already, wtf is taking so long.

    you want attention data?! A O fucking L

    They have the all in one client you must install, you know the sites they go to, the keywords used most often, theres more attention data in that gold nugget then anyone can comprhend right now.

    scoble, why you aren’t pushing microsoft in this direction is beyond me!

  31. I am missing the point, eh? I just don’t get it? Always another version away? Why don’t you clearly ARTICULATE what the pie-in-sky point is then? Good marketing is making me see what the points are, and narrowing it down to one sentence. Falling back on “missing the point” is cultic groupthink at it’s finest. Some big Hailstormish Windows Live store all your data on a PSP’ish server? Oh pluuuzze. And the ironic thing is you guys already have better than this, it’s called GROOVE. Where the heck has that gone anyways? :)

    And what I was getting was that ‘acquisition’ is not a substitute word for ‘creation’ or ‘innovation’. Just because you buy Bungie, doesn’t mean you can CREATE another Bungie. Comprendo?

  32. I am missing the point, eh? I just don’t get it? Always another version away? Why don’t you clearly ARTICULATE what the pie-in-sky point is then? Good marketing is making me see what the points are, and narrowing it down to one sentence. Falling back on “missing the point” is cultic groupthink at it’s finest. Some big Hailstormish Windows Live store all your data on a PSP’ish server? Oh pluuuzze. And the ironic thing is you guys already have better than this, it’s called GROOVE. Where the heck has that gone anyways? :)

    And what I was getting was that ‘acquisition’ is not a substitute word for ‘creation’ or ‘innovation’. Just because you buy Bungie, doesn’t mean you can CREATE another Bungie. Comprendo?

  33. Yawn…. anybody else getting REAL weary of all these buzzwords that add absolutely no value to the conversation? Anybody else getting real weary of all these “amazing” products, services, and pipelines that add absolutely no value to an individual’s life?

    Yawn…. Robert, this non-news item really could have waited until Monday.

  34. Yawn…. anybody else getting REAL weary of all these buzzwords that add absolutely no value to the conversation? Anybody else getting real weary of all these “amazing” products, services, and pipelines that add absolutely no value to an individual’s life?

    Yawn…. Robert, this non-news item really could have waited until Monday.

  35. Oops…. as I hit post I remembered one other thing I wanted to say Robert: Happy Anniversary!

    I hope you have the right perspective on what is important for you this weekend… and find a way to wait until Monday for any more posting.

  36. Oops…. as I hit post I remembered one other thing I wanted to say Robert: Happy Anniversary!

    I hope you have the right perspective on what is important for you this weekend… and find a way to wait until Monday for any more posting.

  37. Chris,

    FolderShare isn’t about a centralized server store. If you even looked at their site you’d know that.

    I can’t spell it out for you because the details are *confidential* – but already some brighter folks are putting the pieces together.

  38. Chris,

    FolderShare isn’t about a centralized server store. If you even looked at their site you’d know that.

    I can’t spell it out for you because the details are *confidential* – but already some brighter folks are putting the pieces together.

  39. Heh! Google files it’s first [frivolous|potentially dangerous|overreaching] patent and a Microsoft guy complains. Maybe Google is just learning some tricks from Microsoft?

  40. Heh! Google files it’s first [frivolous|potentially dangerous|overreaching] patent and a Microsoft guy complains. Maybe Google is just learning some tricks from Microsoft?

  41. Dave,

    I hope you have the right perspective on what is important for you this Sunday… and in future find a way to wait until 9am before posting.

    Yawn

  42. Dave,

    I hope you have the right perspective on what is important for you this Sunday… and in future find a way to wait until 9am before posting.

    Yawn

  43. As Joel S said, Google is one level of abstraction above MS. If they take the data and aggregate it to death for their corporate clients, it’s like answering an anonymous poll on laundry soap (I do know there is the potential to be evil, but hey).
    OTOH, when we worried about MSN Passport, Hailstorm, etc. we just knew we’d be targeted individually.
    It’s the “abstract away” that also makes most people feel safe about Gmail even though it reads your mail.

  44. As Joel S said, Google is one level of abstraction above MS. If they take the data and aggregate it to death for their corporate clients, it’s like answering an anonymous poll on laundry soap (I do know there is the potential to be evil, but hey).
    OTOH, when we worried about MSN Passport, Hailstorm, etc. we just knew we’d be targeted individually.
    It’s the “abstract away” that also makes most people feel safe about Gmail even though it reads your mail.

  45. Robert Scoble talks with the Gillmor Gang about Attention

    One of the podcasts I listened to on the way home this evening struck a real chord. In ‘Disruption Gang’, the Gillmor Gang spoke with Robert Scoble about matters related to ‘attention’; something which has visibly grabbed Robert’s interest

  46. [...] About | AttentionTrust.org A non-profit dedicated to users’ right to their own attention data. Attention data is all the information about what you look at, for how long and what you click on. It is now owned by the people whose website you visit. If these people are Google or Amazon, they can use this data to drive targeted advertising, recommendations and search results – essentially making money out of your attention. I think it’ll be interesting to see how much of this people are willing to give up or take control of. Now is an especially interesting time, with conversations about Flickr’s use of user’s photographs to drive their revenue model and Google’s pending patent on attention data display. [...]

  47. Let me see… I’m not sure… I use Google regularly and don’t think that it is something terrible… But, may be, I should change my position.

  48. Let me see… I’m not sure… I use Google regularly and don’t think that it is something terrible… But, may be, I should change my position.

  49. [...] Scoble is one of many to report that Google has filed a patent for user targeted, or attention targeted, search results which will change the ranking of Google’s organic results per each individual user based upon that user’s search behavior, location, sites visited, and even ‘typing behavior’. How could Google build such user profiles to serve customized organic (non-paid) results to? Tracking via their network of desktop apps, advertising, Gmail, and other network services. [...]

  50. [...] Monday Attention and Identity Links Posted Monday, July 24, 2006 by David Evans VC and the Attention economy Interoperability, Open Identity and Identity Brokers Kim Cameron’s Infocard Tutorial Root Vaults announces new Data Exchanging Features and Public Display of Attention (PDA). Scoble on David Berlind and Doc on Intention. attention+ economy, cardspace, root+markets, venture+capital No related posts [...]