Attention in Business Press to the Diffusion of Attention Technologies, 1990–2017

Ronald E. Rice, Zane T. Hoffmann


Organizations in the digital networked media environment must increasingly rely on data about audiences’ allocation of their attention to obtain positive returns on their marketing budgets; provide better and more personalized services; or achieve more successful outcomes of health, political, or other campaigns or interventions. Thus, a variety of attention technologies (tracking, storage, and analytics) and an attention brokerage industry have developed over time. These developments are grounded in concepts of the information and knowledge economy, information economics, media advertising models, the attention economy, and diffusion of innovations theory. After this contextualization, the study analyzes how the business press represents the attributes associated with the diffusion of these attention technologies (relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, communicability, uncertainty, and reinvention), and new subdimensions of each, and by promoting or adopting company, over time (1990–2017).


attention technologies, information economy, media marketing models, content analysis, diffusion of innovations

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