As a follow-on to an earlier post about FriendFeed and an increasing problem with the signal to noise ratio, I stumbled across a prescient quote from Jon Udell in 2005, an era before we were drowning in updates from Facebook, Twitter, and our RSS reader:

In an Gillmor Gang episode about the Attention Trust, I argued forcefully (and according to one comment rudely) that monetizing the attention we choose to direct outward is not a problem that resonates with most people. Regulating the demand on our attention is what we crave, and technology has so far supplied few of the options that science fiction and classic concept videos have conditioned us to expect. Devices are on or off. Channels are open or closed. The vast middle ground between those two states remains largely unexplored. [Emphasis added]

Two-and-a-half years later, twitter  and most other services, generally offer us an on/off approach to regulating what we want to hear:

There are a few interesting seeds of innovation:

Bottom Line: Good start with each individual service beginning to offer
filters, but a broader and cross-application service is needed.

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