‘Overleveraging Attention’

Jim Ray, on his Flicker Fusion blog:

John Gruber

I’m curious what else you think has surprised Musk about Twitter
thus far. Not what you think Musk is wrong about, per se, but
what he is already surprised about.

I think Musk is genuniely surprised he hasn’t been able (so far)
to bluster his way through this.

I mean this sincerely. In an economy driven by attention, Musk
uses bluster like a CDO, it’s how he became the world’s richest
man and how he managed to just about single-handedly turn a public
company private and rule by fiat.

I think it’s surprising because Musk’s bluster not only generates
the attention he needs but acts as an ace up his sleeve, a way to
guarantee a win. Musk leveraged, and then weaponized, the absolute
worst tendencies of the social-era internet — fandom, brigading,
the financialization of everything, the final merge of politics
and identity. And Twitter was his weapon of choice.

I think Ray is exactly right here. I also think Musk believes his bluster will soon win out. (And as Ray alludes to near the end, if you want a one-word answer to the question “How the fuck did Donald Trump get elected?” it’d be hard to do much better than “Bluster.”)

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