The Pay Attention Economy

I may have mentioned somewhere - I’m leaning into social three dot oh. I’m going to the dark side, where the attention economy is not welcome. Instead, it’s the PAY-attention economy.

When I create posts like this one, the source code and other deeper insights will typically be concealed behind a paywall. Because I love you guys, I’m dropping the paywall entirely for the following year. But you only have six more days to get this free fifty-dollar bill.

Use this link if you can’t get enough of my shit. And don’t be casting this about the Interwebs; my systems are smart. They will make you look bad if you stuff subscriber list. :wink:


Awe, the same back at you.

Thanks. I went ahead and bit. I’ll have a year to decide if I want to continue the subscription. I wonder if I will be able to deduct it as an expense on my taxes

As much as I like reading your posts, there was just too much friction before. Creating an account on a new platform. Deciding if I want to download an app, bookmark the website, or get email notifications. Hunting up my credit card. And paying a monthly fee while not being sure what I’d do with what I get?

So my laziness worked in my favor. When you dropped the price to zero, that was enough to overcome my inertia.

Now I just get to wonder how you are harvesting the data about what piques my attention. And wonder if this particular initiative will last. Sigh.

I’m a little curious about your decision to pick substack versus all of the other platforms where people monetize their writing.

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This is one of the challenges with the pace of innovation. Remember when Twitter opened its doors? It was April 1st, 2004. I was tweeting that day. I don’t get up on the tweeter much anymore, and it’s unlikely I’ll use Substack Notes much either. Hard to say where this will go.

Remember Linkedin? I was member #11,145. 899,988,855 members came after me. This low membership number is meaningless of course unless you want an invite to Reid Hoffman’s Christmas party every year (the first 15,000 are invited; ~5% show up). I went a few times.

Substack might not last, but the business model is sure to stay. The attention economy is in a state of decline. All those who facilitate it and use it will say otherwise. But there’s a sea change. It’s like that day at the beach when you realize the tide is moving out. Ever-so-slight patches of dry sand begin to appear at the water’s edge.

  1. I noticed a lot of really smart tech and AI writers drawn to substack.
  2. Writers can invest in Substack; we can own a piece of the platform.
  3. Elon was noticeably annoyed when Substack Notes emerged.

The third one is very important; it telegraphed that substack was a potential threat to Twitter itself; a clear indication they’re doing it right.

Thanks for becoming a customer; you’ll regret it. :wink:

I like that dichotomy in the choice to call it impertinent and I am intrigued to get some more of that @bfrench dark side. :eyes: