Wednesday, April 15, 2009

.towards the economics of information

today's idea/conjecture

there's an economics of information density and this is why twitter is gibberish and
blogs with google ads makes sense

basically, its some sort of entropic/SNR thing which is to do with the percentage of cognition someone is prepared to spend on stuff that isn't 100% germane (fancy word for relevant)

i think there's two pieces
1. there's a minimum unit's worth which is about 1 web page (8kbytes) - below this (think twitter or SMS), there's no useful semantic content, and its pure deontic/emoticon stuff - above this, the brain can afford some idling time to eyeball some stuff around the edges

so if you can't make money purely from the service (think sms/twitter) for low payload things you are doomed, but once you get into the page (think pagerank) you can build parasitic ways of making money (like advertising) in those cases, you want the _service_ to be free to maximise your chances of reaching the right people with the advert....(the advert could itself just be links to more content of course)

incidentally, this is why the IP MTU should have been 8Kbytes, not 576 (or the de facto 1500) it is today...


Shidan said...

There absolutely can be semantic content in one Twitter message. A twitter message can reference information that is much larger than a single web page. And even if it didn't, which can never be the case, a series of related SMS and Twitter messages can amount to a web page full of data through inference.

I'm pretty sure if you are paying attention to an advertisement as much or more than the message itself, it would be pretty annoying. For a web page the ratio is obviously much smaller than a single message.

Same analogy goes for the IP MTU. As long as you can reference it's fine because sometimes you need more than one source or event in time to create the information. Often the network and conversation is where the information is created not just presented.

jon crowcroft said...

yes there's immediate and indirect info in a twitter (or SMS - much more studied and used worldwide for quite a few years now) but there is a congnitive load to switching your attention (either to an advert or to a web page pointed to) - this is what I am trying to get at:)