On the Real Merchandise of The
“How thoroughly and how radically Google has already transformed the information economy has not been well understood. The merchandise of the information economy is not information; it is attention. These commodities have an inverse relationship. When information is cheap [resulting in an oversupply], attention becomes expensive. Attention is what we, the users, give to Google, and our attention is what Google sells [back to us]—concentrated, focused, and crystallized.”
“How Google Dominates Us”
by James Gleick
The New York Review of Books (8/18/2011)
NB: Text in brackets is mine.