The Internet Is Like Ancient Egypt, People Write On Walls And Worship Cats

Silicon Cape
18 Jun 2015

With the advent of the internet, the amount of information which is available at the press of a button has increased exponentially. Due to this massive increase in users, services and data, people can only consume a fraction of the information they are bombarded with on a daily basis.

All information providers compete for a readers’ time and attention. As a consequence, an awareness project for a political issue competes with daily news, as well as cat pictures and cartoons. This becomes acute as an increasing number of people are consuming their news socially through recommendations by their friends on Facebook, instead of going to the news sites directly.

When one assumes that value in economic models is driven by scarcity, our economies have passed the stage of information economies, as information has become abundant, and have entered the stage ofattention economies. Hence, attention has become the currency of all these online endeavours.

In this article, I will discuss civic education initiatives in Egypt and the Middle East.

First, I look at three ways how they are challenged in regards to attention; I will look at the

  • Information overload
  • Political fatigue
  • Counter information

Then I will discuss a number of successful initiatives and how they utilised viral or organic growth. Finally, I will attempt to look a bit into the future.

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