Doc Searls has a great piece on the Intention Economy vs. the Attention Economy. The basic thesis is that you, the user, ought to be able to express your intent to purchase goods, rather than devote your attention to the vendors advertising. It’s a user controlled world, rather than a vendor controlled world.
Interestingly, it was this initial view that drove Howard and myself to create iotum. The very first problem we looked at solving was telemarketers: how do you give the user control of which commercial messages are received by telephone? We realized that the technology we wanted to build was generalizable to managing any kind of conversation request, based on intent. Doc’s concept of the Intention Economy drives right to the heart of the matter — what is a relevant communication (i.e. pertinent to what I am currently doing), and how do increase the volume of relevant communications I receive?