Goldhaber, M. (1997). Attention economy and the Net. First Monday, 2(4).
If the Web and the Net can be viewed as spaces in which we will increasingly live our lives, the economic laws we will live under have to be natural to this new space. These laws turn out to be quite different from what the old economics teaches, or what rubrics such as “the information age” suggest. What counts most is what is most scarce now, namely attention. The attention economy brings with it its own kind of wealth, its own class divisions - stars vs. fans - and its own forms of property, all of which make it incompatible with the industrial-money-market based economy it bids fair to replace. Success will come to those who best accommodate to this new reality.
Making a model out of information overload. Conference presentation. Overview, position document, starting point.
economies are governed by what is scarce, and information, especially on the Net, is not only abundant, but overflowing.
therefore, he argues, we’re not dealing in an information economy, but an attention economy.
for more, here’s the Wikipedia article about the Attention Economy.