Attent™ with Serios™ tackles the increasing problem of information overload in corporate email using psychological and economic principles from successful multiplayer online games and market economics. Attent creates an economy with a scarce new currency (Serios) that enables users to signal the importance of their outgoing email by attaching value. Recipients can use the Serios received to prioritize their attention to messages, and in return use their Serios to assign appropriate weight to their responses. Attent also provides tools to analyze and manage communication patterns and information networks in the enterprise.
The lively marketplace of ideas and communication patterns that emerges from this economy offers new insights into collaboration, teamwork, and goal alignment. The Seriosity solution to information overload will give your information workers more time, more thoughtful input, and more insight so that they can be more productive.
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What’s in it for me?
Attent is designed to help information workers of all levels better communicate with others in their information network. Attent is most effective in helping individuals challenged by the increasing flow of email-based requests and information, and organizations striving to improve collaboration and innovation. Examples of people who might introduce Attent into their company include:
A leader of a support team looking to help her team members discriminate between what is of direct importance to them and what is sent more for informational purposes
An IT Executive responsible for Collaboration and Communications infrastructure responding to requests from frustrated users for tools to manage information overload
A Senior Executive looking for a way to manage the increasing requests for his attention without cutting the flow of potentially important information from subordinates
An innovation champion looking to access people and ideas from across the globe
Attent is designed to be used by groups ranging from five-person development teams all the way up to large corporations with tens of thousands of employees.
How can I start using Attent?
Attent is installed as a small download available either via email invitation or by signing up for the limited beta. After installation of the plug-in, the user selects a user name and password to establish an account with the Attent Application server. The Attent plug-in integrates with Outlook’s look and feel and provides a seamless interface for users to invest Serios during email composition. When messages are sent, Serio data are updated on the users’ accounts, and the number of Serios attached to messages can be seen by recipients and used to sort or rank items in the inbox.
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Attent provides five important benefits to improve productivity in the enterprise:
Prioritize information. People receive too many emails, instant messages, and phone calls, and it’s hard to know where to pay attention. With Attent, senders share the burden of prioritization so that recipients can sort information according to value.
Get attention. Sometimes it’s too hard to cut through the information clutter. Messages with more currency attached indicate that senders care more and are willing to invest more of a scarce resource to bid for attention.
Give feedback. It is hard to provide optimal and timely feedback in the workplace. The amount of currency sent in return to email messages is a rapid and tangible signal of reward, compliment, or critique.
Gain insight. Sometimes it’s hard to know which teams are working well together and whether the right kind of information is flowing between them. Attent provides a way to view the flow of information in terms of its value, as determined by real people.
Build an attention economy. Attent can be the foundation for an economic system to encourage communication, collaboration, and the alignment of corporate objectives with individual action.
People quickly realize that Serios are a lot like money—they have scarcity and value, and you can barter, donate, and collect them. This versatility leads to richer forms of collaboration and innovation. As people realize that Serios can be valuable, they begin to use them for transactions that reflect behavior and priorities outside the email environment. Serios can be used to evaluate new ideas in internal markets that track new innovations. We’ve seen people use Serios to reward a junior colleague, to provide real time scoring in a brainstorming session, and to auction scarce corporate resources such as expensive laboratory equipment.
The Seriosity server features secure communication and a secure website for participants to view currency income statements, trade information and rewards, and to see engaging presentations of meta-data, including analytics and graphical presentations of social metrics and econometrics that characterize the attention economy within an organization.
Client: The Attent plug-in tightly integrates with Microsoft Outlook 2003 and 2007. The client also includes a desktop component implementing secure, asynchronous communication with our SaaS-based back-end services. The client utilizes basic sender, recipient, and Serio information but by design does not collect information regarding email subject, message content, or attachments. User-assigned Serios are transported within the email’s RFC 2822-compliant X-headers, which do not interfere with email transport or security. We currently support Outlook, with clients for other mobile and webmail interfaces in development.
Application Server and Transaction Engine: Our robust, standards-based platform is located in a secure data center in San Jose, CA. Our SaaS server farm is accessed only via secure APIs utilizing an encrypted protocol.
Website: Users access secure web-based administration functions to manage their account and analytic tools to understand their information and Serio exchange networks.
Platform APIs: The Transaction Engine Web Service APIs are accessible from communication clients including BlackBerrys and webmail, as well as a number of non-mail applications. If you are interested in pursuing applications on our platform, please contact [email protected] for more information.
Services: Seriosity provides a variety of services in support of Attent development and deployment.