Your Attention Please

A Panel Discussion

Supernova 2005
66 minutes, 30.2mb, recorded 2005-06-22
The Supernova Attention Panel
In a world where information overload is common, attention is a very scarce resource and there is an increasing need to manage it efficiently. In this panel discussion, Steve Gillmor, Glenn Reid, Doree Duncan Seligmann, David Sifry and Linda Stone talk about the problem of coping with more information than one can handle and the possible solutions.

In a connected world it is becoming very difficult to filter out the information that really needs our attention from that which is irrelevant to us. The panel discusses the work that they are currently involved in and tries to come up with answers to the problem of overwhelming information, only some of which deserves our attention. They talk about the tools, practices and new technology being developed to effectively use data which matters to the end user.

Privacy is paramount when developing tools and systems which help in determining and tracking what is important and needs attention. The panel tries to come up with an answer to the question of ownership of the data which channel attention effectively. The discussion ends with a question and answer session where members of the audience share their thoughts and clarify issues with the panelists.

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Steve Gillmor - ZDNet: As a principal reviewer with Byte magazine, Steve Gillmor covered beat areas including Visual Basic, NT open systems, Lotus Notes and other collaborative software systems. After stints as a contributing editor with InformationWeek Labs and as editor in chief of Enterprise Development magazine, and as editor in chief and editorial director of XML and Java Pro Magazines, he joined InfoWorld as Test Center director and columnist. Later, he wrote CRN.s Emerging Opp.s blog, and then became eWEEK OpEd columnist and contributing editor.

Today, Gillmor is a ZDNet contributing editor and host and producer of's Gillmor Gang and Gillmor Daily Web radio podcasts.

Glenn Reid - Five Across: Glenn Reid is a pioneer in the software industry, bringing innovation to electronic publishing, graphics, video, at the applications and system software levels. Most recently, Glenn was Director of Engineering, Consumer Applications at Apple Computer, where he helped create the "digital hub" strategy.

Glenn began his career as a systems programmer at Adobe Systems in 1985. Glenn started a software company in 1990 focused on the NeXT computer platform, where he developed the award-winning PasteUp page layout application. He has held positions as VP of Engineering at several companies including Fractal Design, Vitria, ebrary, and Artifex. Glenn is named as inventor or co-inventor on 11 patent applications for software innovation, and holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin.

Dorée Duncan Seligmann - Avaya: Dorée is currently the director of Collaborative Applications Research, at Avaya Labs, where she works in the areas of communication-enabling businesses processes, context-aware applications, presence-based technologies, mobile communication solutions, communications middleware, and user-interface techniques. Since joining Avaya, she has filed over 50 patents.

At Bell Labs, she helped build Rapport, an early multimedia conferencing system and application sharing system. She then developed Archways, an automatically generated virtual environment with 3D graphics and 3D sound. Her interest is in developing new systems that enable people to communicate more effectively and efficiently. Under the broad rubric of providing a rich user experience, this work involves issues ranging from aesthetic considerations to mechanisms to increase ease-of-use and a user's control over devices and systems to ways of humanizing network management systems.

David Sifry - Technorati: David Sifry is a serial entrepreneur with over 19 nineteen years of software development and industry experience.

Before founding Technorati and serving as the company’s CEO, Dave was cofounder and CTO of Sputnik, a Wi-Fi gateway company, and previously, he was cofounder of Linuxcare, where he served as CTO and VP of Engineering. Dave also served as a founding member of the board of Linux International and on the technical advisory board of the National Cybercrime Training Partnership for law enforcement. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.

Dave can often be found speaking on panels and giving lectures on a variety of technology issues, ranging from wireless spectrum policy and Wi-Fi, to weblogs and open-source software.

Linda Stone: In 1986, Linda Stone, was persuaded to join Apple Computer to help "change the world." She is passionate about the role technology can play in enhancing our lives. In her 7 years at Apple, she had the opportunity to do pioneering work in multimedia hardware, software and publishing.

In 1993, Stone joined Microsoft Research under Nathan Myhrvold. She co-founded and directed the Virtual Worlds Group/Social Computing Group, and with her team, researched online social life and virtual communities. In 2000, CEO, Steve Ballmer, tapped Stone to take on a VP role, reporting to him, to help improve industry relationships and contribute to a constructive evolution of the corporate culture. Stone retired from Microsoft in 2002, to work on a variety of writing and creative projects. She began her career as an educator and children's librarian.


  • Wikipedia entry on Attention
  • Attention.xml - an open standard, built on open source that helps you keep track of what you've read, what you're spending time on, and what you should be paying attention to.

This program is from the Supernova 2005 series.

For Team ITC:

  • Description editor: Thejo Kote
  • Post-production audio engineer: Paul Figgiani

This free podcast is from our Supernova series.