Meaningful engagement in the attention economy

Insert Coin
2 min readDec 13, 2021


The importance of meaningful engagement in the Attention Economy

We are living in the digital age and our devices are as much a part of our daily lives as is the air we breathe. “THE CURRENCY OF the New Economy won’t be money, but attention — A radical theory of value.” — writes Michael Goldharber

Digital marketers know that and as a result we are constantly flooded by messages every hour. Attention is truly a scarce resource and with the change to an online lifestyle and SaaS models, companies are fighting for our attention.

On top of that, we are updated every year that our attention spans have dropped drastically, being lower than a gold fishes’ attention span and who knows what else. But is that because our tech is making us dumber or are we actively evolving to subconsciously not spend our attention on things we don’t care about. Commercials that pop up while we’re listening to our favorite song or looking at a tutorial on how to glue shoes do marketers a disservice since we are focused on something we care about.

And that leads us to the point. We still will choose what to pay attention to, it’s not that our attention span has gotten smaller than a fishes’, but we chose not to pay attention to stuff we don’t care about. The numbers are so low, simply because we are surrounded by thousands of attention grabbers.

Where does gamification come into the question, especially regarding digital products, apps, websites, etc. One thing companies can do is make you paying attention worthwhile. The two most important parts for the equation to work are having a long-term goal and getting rewards along the way. So for instance, why are games like Final Fantasy XIV and Elder Scrolls online so addictive? They have a long-spanning story, ergo a goal is to get to the bottom of it and there are numerous rewards along the way to keep us entertained and to remind us that we’re on the right path.

A similar effect can be accomplished with other digital products, set a long-term goal for your users, unlock an exclusive chat room, reach the highest level and get a special avatar so other users see that you know the most about the subject for instance. And the rewards along the way can be achievements, new colors for your profile, etc. Everything that doesn’t give you those micro-rewards is not interesting for us.

But is this a manipulation tool or can we use this for positive habit building and behavior change? Tune in next week when I talk about White and Black hat Gamification

And if you want to find out more about Gamification and the platform we’re building, visit our website:




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Insert Coin AB is a Scandinavian company offering Gamification as a service (GaaS) and knowledge sharing in collaboration with scientific research projects.