… and the money that goes with it.

Clay Shirky delivered an excellent talk at the recent Web 2.0 conference, covering topics from his new book ‘Here Comes Everybody’:

In case you didn’t just sit through the 15 minute video, one of his arguments centres around television. When people wonder how we find the time to write blog posts, contribute to articles on Wikipedia, Tweet away and play Scrabulous on Facebook, he points out that we used to find ample time to sit glued to the television watching sitcoms. We find the time because we shift our attention from other non-essential activities in life. (Let’s not debate whether or not non-essential activities are occupying time slots that ought to be filled with essential activities, that’s a whole other time-management discussion.)

The console game Grand Theft Auto (GTA) IV was released in the UK this week. On its first day, a record 609,000 copies were sold (609,001 if you include the copy in my shopping cart on Amazon) generating an estimated £24.9m ($48.5m). Source: BBC

In the same week, over 3 days, the top 10 movies in the UK generated box office takings of just £5.1m ($9.9m). Source: TimeOut London. Compare that to December 2001, when one film alone took £11m over the same period – Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter did even better a month earlier that year, clocking up £16.3m. (Source: The Independent.) It’s not that people aren’t going to the cinema any more, they are just less willing to go and watch rubbish for the sake of a night out, when there are options competing for your money and time. I’d guess box office sales will jump when the latest Indiana Jones movie is released…

I’m not even going to bother finding out what the music sales were like this week 🙂 Personally, I’ve spent a grand total of £0.79 on iTunes this week (Sam Sparrow – ‘Black & Gold’, in case you are wondering). Recently, I stopped just short of coughing up £250 for a pair of tickets to see Muse live at the Royal Albert Hall. It’s not that people aren’t spending money on music any more…

Now I just need to find time to read ‘Here Comes Everybody‘, given it’s been sat on the shelf for well over a month (competing with its neighbours: ‘We Think‘ and ‘Information Rules‘). Best leave GTA IV in the Amazon shopping cart for now 😉

[Update] Clay Shirky has written a blog post summarising the Web 2.0 talk – Gin, Television and Social Surplus.

Filed in library under: Social Nets

Technorati tags: Attention economy

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