BCM240 Week 8: Attention Please

Google's Multi-Screen World (image adapted from http://travish.co/1EZy336)

Google’s Multi-Screen World (image adapted from http://travish.co/1EZy336)

It’s unlikely measuring audiences was ever really easy, but nowadays it’s harder to imagine that it is even possible. What Google points out in their report The New Multi-Screen World is that audiences are scattered, shattered, and probably not paying attention. The report notes that “context drives device choice”, where ‘context’ includes:

  • time
  • goal
  • location
  • attitude

These are not device-centred limitations, they are user-centric.

For Google, whose business model is to put other people’s media in front of users in the most efficient way possible, there is a commercial imperative in working out how people deploy media and media devices. The conclusions in the report are also business-driven, aiming at encouraging their customers (advertisers, content producers, etc) to develop content for as many ‘channels’ as possible.

Microsoft has taken a similar approach, pushing back against perceptions that digital media negatively impacts on user attention in the report Attention Spans from the Consumer Insights division of Microsoft Canada. The importance of this is established up front, in the line:

Today, multi-screening is a given, so it’s reassuring to know that multiple screens don’t reduce the (potential) impact of advertising.

Well, that’s a relief!

In class

In small groups, design and pitch a research project that examines how students pay attention in lectures and tutorials.

Blogs this week

  1. Find a friend or family member, and together design a short task that will examine their attention capacity relative to yours.
  2. Ask about their experience of the task and what they learned. Between you, think about what factors shape your respective capacity to pay attention. Ask what they want to know more about.
  3. Write this up with reference to two or three quality research sources. Remember, you can reference a source by arguing against it.
  4. You can work together with other students