When Information is Cheap, Attention Becomes Expensive

Negative reviews are fun to write and fun to read, but the world doesn’t need them, since the average work of literary fiction is, in Laura Miller’s words, “invisible to the average reader.” It appears and vanishes from the scene largely unnoticed and unremarked. “Even the novelists you may think of as ‘hyped’ are in fact relatively obscure,” writes Miller. “I’ve got a battalion of perfectly intelligent cousins who have never heard of either Jonathan Franzen or Dave Eggers . . . They’ve never read a book because it was praised as a work of genius on the front page of the New York Times Book Review.” Whether reviews are positive or negative, the attention they bring to a book is rarely sufficient, and it is becoming harder and harder for a novel to lift itself from obscurity. In the succinct and elegant words of James Gleick, “The merchandise of the information economy is not information; it is attention. These commodities have an inverse relationship. When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive.” These days, besides writing, novelists must help draw attention to what they write, tweeting, friending, blogging, and generating meta tags—unacknowledged legislators to Shelley, but now more like unpaid publicists.

Notes:

Folksonomies: curation focus attention information

Taxonomies:
/art and entertainment/books and literature/non-fiction (0.386949)
/art and entertainment/books and literature (0.361581)
/finance/investing/futures trading (0.333495)

Keywords:
perfectly intelligent cousins (0.916269 (:0.000000)), New York Times (0.846437 (:0.000000)), attention (0.688298 (:0.000000)), Expensive Negative (0.655589 (:0.000000)), average reader. (0.633482 (:0.000000)), average work (0.620776 (:0.000000)), unpaid publicists (0.611021 (:0.000000)), Jonathan Franzen (0.607713 (:0.000000)), literary fiction (0.607610 (:0.000000)), Dave Eggers (0.604501 (:0.000000)), Laura Miller (0.594482 (:0.000000)), James Gleick (0.584566 (:0.000000)), inverse relationship (0.556783 (:0.000000)), elegant words (0.540835 (:0.000000)), Book Review. (0.537054 (:0.000000)), information economy (0.527482 (:0.000000)), novelists (0.412392 (:0.000000)), obscurity (0.296804 (:0.000000)), legislators (0.286631 (:0.000000)), battalion (0.276425 (:0.000000)), genius (0.276210 (:0.000000)), Shelley (0.274038 (:0.000000)), world (0.271760 (:0.000000)), scene (0.270630 (:0.000000)), meta (0.268394 (:0.000000)), fact (0.267663 (:0.000000)), commodities (0.267259 (:0.000000)), page (0.262138 (:0.000000)), novel (0.261049 (:0.000000)), expensive. (0.259987 (:0.000000)), writing (0.259805 (:0.000000))

Entities:
Laura Miller:Person (0.782161 (:0.000000)), Jonathan Franzen:Person (0.488115 (:0.000000)), James Gleick:Person (0.476178 (:0.000000)), Dave Eggers:Person (0.451194 (:0.000000)), New York Times:PrintMedia (0.415967 (:0.000000)), Shelley:Person (0.393374 (:0.000000))

Concepts:
Literature (0.912639): dbpedia_resource
Novel (0.757606): dbpedia_resource
Fiction (0.738628): dbpedia_resource
Review (0.642829): dbpedia_resource

 Secrets of the Stacks
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Rose, Phyllis (May 13, 2014), Secrets of the Stacks, Retrieved on 2017-10-25
  • Source Material [medium.com]
  • Folksonomies: information attention focus curation