The absent market for personal data

I was interviewed for a story recently. (It’s still in the mill.) In the correspondence that followed, the reporter asked me to clarify a statement: “that the idea of selling your data is nuts.” I didn’t remember exactly what I said, so I responded,

I think what I meant was this:

1) The use value of personal data so far exceeds its sale value that it’s insane to compare the two.

Especially because …

2) There never has been a market for selling personal data, and to create one now, just because marketers are sneakily getting that data for free, doesn’t mean there should be one.

Especially because …

3) The sums paid by marketers for personal data are actually tiny on a per-person basis.

4) Selling one’s personal data amounts to marketing exposure of one’s self. It’s like stripping, only less sexy. And for a lot less money.

And added a pointer to For personal data, use value beats sale value.

14 comments

  1. Tom Crowl’s avatar

    I’m an advocate for moving away from the cow/calf model… and unknowingly have been so for a while!

    I also believe I may have something to contribute to the effort.

    I’m an ‘amateur’ anthropologist (just a B.A. and no pro experience after college)…

    But the concept I developed along with the method for its practical implementation actually may be the path to that user-centered web…

    Its a user’s account (which may or may not be funded periodically as a sort of virtual ‘cash card’) also facilitating abilities to co-ordinate with other account-holders for activities which may or may not require funds.

    I believe such a network can be catalyzed especially by its ability to facilitate a viable political micro-transaction… (which is a fundamental of speech) and further forms a root for a personal data market.

    I’d be happy to expand on why I’ve been asserting for a few years now that this ‘commons-dedicated account’ forms the root of a new landscape and the true online public square…

    The Chagora Model: Scaling Speech
    http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2012/01/chagora-model-scaling-speech-and.html

    patent has been issued…

    Issues in Scaling Civilization: The Altruism Problem
    http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2012/02/issues-in-scaling-civilization-altruism.html

    Leveling the Transaction Landscape: Technology and the Campfire
    http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2011/04/leveling-transaction-landscape.html

    I know I have much to learn in this field… but I believe I have something to contribute and would like an opportunity to explore it further with others. I’ve yet to have that opportunity and long for it. This has been and remains a difficult journey.

  2. Tom Crowl’s avatar

    P.S. In this context “personal data market” is in the sense that the users ‘own’ the network and have personal control on access to commercial interests wishing to reach them… NOT that each user auctions off his information… (though I suppose you never know how things may evolve within such a construct)

  3. Mike Riddell’s avatar

    In my view Doc,

    Personal data is important because it helps allocate resources more effectively. Win-win-win outcomes will come from creating mutually supportive incentives that reduce collective inefficiencies.

    Like you, I wouldn’t trust a marketer with it though.

    When end users get a share of the value created from their personal data, they will gain more confidence in sharing it. I favour a data co-operative that incentivises and rewards individuals for their volunteering their personal information – paid out as a dividend that is proportionate to contribution.

    I do think there is a place for a Fourth Party. Do you not?

  4. Marc Guldimann’s avatar

    Doc, I think we might have been interviewed for the same story, but that’s probably as much as we have in common on this topic. Let me address your points..

    1 – The great thing about data is that it’s free to copy – thus it’s sale and use aren’t mutually exclusive. The sale of data can be very easy, imagine it as an low-friction currency instead of an either/or tradeoff.

    2 – There’s a very popular market for personal data run by Bluekai. They even let you control what data is sold about you on it. Audience targeting as an industry is hundreds of millions of dollars, specifically Google runs a large RTB exchange where data plays a large part in the creation of value. Just because most people in the VRM space don’t understand how to operate in the audience marketplace doesn’t mean that it’s non-existant.

    3 – Advertising spend in the US is about $750/adult. As addressable media becomes more and more ubiquitous (It’s moving from display to video and mobile), the value of data will grow. Comparing the value of data that is sold about you today to the value of data that you can curate yourself is apples to oranges — the most valuable data, from outlets like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Craigslist and eBay isn’t available for sale so is conveniently left out of the “Your data is worth $.32″ argument.

    4 – Ah, the privacy straw man. Believe it or not, most advertisers don’t want information that you consider sensitive. They don’t want to know your medical history or the contents of your emails. No, they want to know what you are about to buy and what your interests are. The surreptitious nature by which 3rd party data is captured actually deters many brand advertisers from using data to the extent they’d like to.

    Once people look at the data that describes them as a manageable set of feeds instead of the boogyman it’s easy to see that sharing intent and in-market data with advertisers is more like using a loyalty card or leaving your shopping list in your cart than taking your clothes off in front of strangers.

    Here’s the thing: people younger than you and I get it. They understand that there’s a transaction going on, and it’s not scary, rather just annoying how opaque it is. They want to be in control. In the next couple of years we’ll see personal data brokers who understand this nuance gain traction, and it’s going to be a good thing. Everybody wins. As a publisher, demand for your product increases when more data is available. Advertisers get more targeted campaigns and less waste. Consumers see more interesting ads, and control what data is used. The only people who lose are the ones selling data about you now… and isn’t that what this is all about? Making the internet opt-in instead of opt-out?

  5. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Sorry to be slow to respond here. My main laptop’s hard drive crapped out, and I’ve been recovering (all appears okay, though… was backed up). So I’ll run things down quickly in the small time window I have right now.

    First, to me personal data includes everything that is or can be digitized. That includes all your receipts, your tax records, your personal health records, your quantified self (sleep, fitness, travel) records, and everything you can call yours on your hard drives, CDs, DVDs, and personal clouds. This totals many gigabytes (or, in cases like mine, terabytes) — the digital sides of our lives. Most of this, I believe, all of us would wish to keep private, in the sense of being contained. It’s ours. And its use value is no less than the use value of our lives as well. This is what I mean when I say use value far exceeds sale value for personal data.

    There is also, of course, the data we spill, mostly without the intent to do that, online. I believe we have not yet worked out the informal protocols for what this data is and what might be done with it. That we acquiescence to it being hoovered up and used by marketers today does not constitute a protocol. It’s just a temporary, if prevailing, condition.

    Another angle: there is no online equivalent of a handshake, or even a wave. Entering into a containment system (e.g. Twitter or Facebook), and having an arcane identity there, administered by the containing party, does not constitute a handshake. We are not equals.

    The short of this drift is that it is still very early, and the Web we know today is not civilized. Not while only the calf-cow system obtains.

    So that’s kind of an addendum to the post. On to individual responses…

    Tom, thanks for weighing in. Your ideas and references sound very intriguing. I suggest sharing them with the ProjectVRM list, which you can join by hitting the subscription link on this page here: https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/lists/info/projectvrm. (There will be a brief one-stage approval process.) Same goes for others who want to go deeper or longer on subjects than is possible here.

    Mike, I’m not sure what “get a share of the value created from their personal data” will mean, other than what marketers currently want it to mean, which is offers and deals. If that’s all it’s good for, I’m not sure it’s good for much more than that. Also, if that’s all we’re getting, we’re selling out cheap. It’s like buying love. And maybe that’s all loyalty is, in today’s systems. But what more could it be if we didn’t frame it within transactions?

    Example. I spend a lot of money every year with Peet’s coffee. I have no idea how much, though I might be able to find out if I took the trouble. What matters is that I like Peet’s a lot, and I’m loyal to them for both tangibles and intangibles. My relationship with them is real, and not contained in either a number or a loyalty program. To me this has far more value, calculable and incalculable, than an exchange of money for goods or data for anything.

    So I believe the greenfield here isn’t “data as an asset class” and what can be done with what that implies, but relating online in ways that resemble, or enlarge, on the best of what we have in the physical world.

    Remember that the protocols of relationship and commerce (which overlap, but are distinct), have been in the works for ten thousand years or more. The online world we know, which is distinct from the physical one, and coexists with it, is only seventeen years old (dating back to the first ISPs, graphical browsers and email). It’s still dawn, and we have a long day ahead of us.

    Marc, great points, with lots of meaty info. Thanks for that. Before I dive in (which may require a separate post, because the details are so many and rich), a quick question: how can I (or anybody) get in the Bluekai market? When I click on “Consumers” on the home page I get to a 404 page. But under “Consumer transparency” on the home page is a link to “Registry“. When I go there it says this:

    The BlueKai Registry brings transparency to consumers by allowing them to see what preferences are being logged via the BlueKai cookies on their computer. Furthermore, consumers can also control their anonymous profile by managing their topics of interest. Your preferences may be used anonymously to influence which types of marketing messages you receive across the Internet. Or you can choose to not participate at all via an opt‐out.

    As an added incentive, you will receive a benefit for participating in the BlueKai Registry…

    Thank you for providing your online preferences using the BlueKai registry! This simple 3-step process will put you in control of what some marketers know about you. Based on partner feedback, below is a list of your online preferences for topics of interest. Please review and edit by clicking “Remove” next to a particular preference. Then, click on “Continue” to select benefits.

    It has my “Location and neighborhood” as Boston-Cambridge-Quincy.” That’s it.

    Can I go deeper than that with them? How? Do they have more than that, and if so, where is it? (I suppose that’s all my Bluekai cookie says, but still wondering.)

    FWIW, I have visited a similar company, Rapleaf, a number of times. What they have on me is not correctable, and rather minimal as well (where I live, that I like sports and travel, stuff like that).

  6. Marc Guldimann’s avatar

    An individual needs a broker to aggregate and anonymize data, the broker also helps curate a profile that the individual feels comfortable sharing with advertisers. The company I co-founded last year, Enliken, is doing just that, and letting people donate the proceeds to a cause they believe in.

    Bluekai and their ilk have notoriously sparse, and contradictory, data. However poor their data, they’ve done a fantastic job creating a liquid market for it, and an industry has sprung up around utilizing data to target individuals on addressable media. The buyers in the market don’t care if they buy from Bluekai, Brilig or wherever – now that they have the capability to process data and use it to target media in real time they are in market themselves for the best data available.

    Now that there’s a marketplace with buyers your data really is worth something. Enliken lets individuals make a difference aggregating data that is already used to target with ads, and at the same time helps move the market towards a consumer controlled model.

  7. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Marc. I hope you don’t mind my adding a link to http://enliken.com/ in your comment, so readers can go straight there if they like. Here are the About page, the FAQ and the @enliken @-handle as well.

    I guess to check it out I’ll need to turn ad-blockers off. :-) I’ll do that on one of my browsers and see how it goes.

    Here is a concern, of sorts. Much of my searching and traveling around the Web is not of the kind that could be interepreted as an enduring interest, much less a commercial one. Usually it’s around VRM-ish stuff. From today, for example. Here is a copy/paste of my history today on this browser, in reverse chronology, with notes on what I was doing at the time.

    3:19 PM
    Enliken – FAQ
     enliken.com

    3:19 PM
    Enliken – Home Page
     enliken.com

    3:18 PM
    Enliken – About
     enliken.com

    3:16 PM
    Doc Searls Weblog · The absent market for personal data
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    3:16 PM
    Edit Comment ‹ Doc Searls Weblog — WordPress
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    3:15 PM
    Doc Searls Weblog · The absent market for personal data
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    3:14 PM
    Enliken
     enliken.com

    3:13 PM
    In response to Doc Searls « Enliken
     enliken.com

    3:13 PM
    Comments ‹ Doc Searls Weblog — WordPress
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    3:13 PM
    Dashboard ‹ Doc Searls Weblog — WordPress
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    That’s all for this one post, and comments.

    3:10 PM
    As Bing Bleeds Billions, Microsoft Applies Tourniquet | TechCrunch
     techcrunch.com

    3:10 PM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftechcrunch.com%2F2011%2F09%2F22%2Fas-bing-bleeds-billions-microsoft-applies-tourniquet%2F&ei=EqvPT8eMF-jN6QHIl8SbDA&usg=AFQjCNFhOxe0pYoYYBBxPr627incvIoiLA&sig2=QeGXfH2qczlcAIGUtevAMQ
    http://www.google.com

    3:10 PM
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&biw=1215&bih=848&sclient=psy-ab&q=bing%20division%20losing%20%24%20billion&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&fp=60909d0e42a1fcbc&ion=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb
    http://www.google.com

    3:10 PM
    http://www.google.com/search?sugexp=chrome,mod=5&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=bing+division+losing+%24+billion
    http://www.google.com

    That’s for a post on the ProjectVRM list, responding to a new thread there.

    3:00 PM
    https://www.glance.net/EndCall.asp?sn=329013%2E0623%2E231648341&vn=1
    http://www.glance.net

    3:00 PM
    Glance – Thank you for using Glance!
    http://www.glance.net

    2:47 PM
    Glance – Joining Session
    http://www.glance.net

    2:47 PM
    Glance – Join Session
    http://www.glance.net

    2:47 PM
     tsus.datamonitor.glance.net – Google Search
    http://www.google.com

    2:46 PM
    http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&sugexp=chrome,mod=5&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=tsus.datamonitor.glance.net
    http://www.google.com

    That’s to share the screen of a guy selling me a research service that costs a crapload more than I’ll ever spend. But I got a week of it free and will use it for some stuff. Not sure what yet.

    2:40 PM
    THE SELF-REGULATORY PROGRAM FOR ONLINE BEHAVIORAL ADVERTISING | http://www.aboutads.info
    http://www.aboutads.info

    2:40 PM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CGAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aboutads.info%2F&ei=JqTPT_POIOfl6QGn1fn_Cw&usg=AFQjCNEX9ynCGq0c9OOiqusiH53uyZDSrA&sig2=4dqgH6QULuK_R5vdjnGXgg
    http://www.google.com

    2:40 PM
    Digital Advertising Alliance’s self-regulatory program – Google Search
    http://www.google.com

    2:23 PM
    Advancing Consumer Trust and Privacy: Internet Explorer in Windows 8 – Microsoft on the Issues – Site Home – TechNet Blogs
     blogs.technet.com

    2:22 PM
    What I would like to see First from IDMaaS | Craig Burton
     blogs.kuppingercole.com

    2:22 PM
    Craig Burton
     blogs.kuppingercole.com

    2:22 PM
    Blogs – Kuppinger Cole
     blogs.kuppingercole.com

    2:21 PM
    KuppingerCole
    http://www.kuppingercole.com

    2:21 PM
    Craig Burton
    http://www.craigburton.com

    2:21 PM
    Essays | Craig Burton
    http://www.craigburton.com

    2:20 PM
    Burtonian Consulting | Craig Burton
    http://www.craigburton.com

    2:20 PM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CGAQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craigburton.com%2F%3Fpage_id%3D829&ei=g5_PT6fjN6PN6QHy2Oy0DA&usg=AFQjCNEsiLVj1JvAHM5DLwZbv80QtbfXLw&sig2=cFbfcZ3U-jPo7X7uhf0uIw
    http://www.google.com

    2:20 PM
    burtonian – Google Search
    http://www.google.com

    2:20 PM
    Burtonian web directory – Premium web directory, Paid directory, Quality paid directory
     burtonian.com

    That was all about finding a blog post by Craig Burton, which I wanted to add to the same response to a ProjectVRM list post that I was putting together above (later in time). I was at this point when I was interrupted by the sales call.

    1:50 PM
    App Store – Geoloqi
     itunes.apple.com

    1:50 PM
    Get the App – Geoloqi
     geoloqi.com

    1:50 PM
    Geoloqi – Geoloqi – A powerful platform for mobile location, messaging, and analytics
     geoloqi.com

    1:50 PM
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CF8QFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgeoloqi.com%2F&ei=RZjPT8CYB8rX0QG53L21CA&usg=AFQjCNE9Lj_vqikuFQ8TBVTYF_KNXGz5_w&sig2=-fKK8P86nzmO_A7oHSSeJA&cad=rjt
    http://www.google.com

    1:49 PM
    geoloqi – Google Search
    http://www.google.com

    That was in response to an old email introducing me to Geoloqi.

    12:47 PM
    VRM Development Work – Project VRM
     cyber.law.harvard.edu

    12:46 PM
    Project VRM
     cyber.law.harvard.edu

    12:46 PM
    Project VRM
     cyber.law.harvard.edu

    12:45 PM
    Customer Commons | Category Archive | Tools
     customercommons.org

    12:44 PM
    Zaarly | Customer Commons
     customercommons.org

    That was some activity during Customer Commons conference call.

    12:18 PM
    Joseph Stiglitz on “The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers our Future”
    http://www.democracynow.org

    12:18 PM
    http://t.co/42wkHad7
    t.co

    12:18 PM
    Twitter
     twitter.com

    12:18 PM
    Bob Nelson (wmwmblues) on Twitter
     twitter.com

    12:17 PM
    Twitter / Home
     twitter.com

    Following a link on Twitter

    12:11 PM
    Personal | Customer Commons
     customercommons.org

    12:10 PM
    D-Day for the Economy – COMRADITY
    http://www.comradity.com

    12:05 PM
    WebEx Meeting Center
     customercommons.webex.com

    12:05 PM
    WebEx Client Entry
     customercommons.webex.com

    12:04 PM
    WebEx Meeting Center
     customercommons.webex.com

    12:04 PM
    WebEx Enterprise Site
     freetrial.webex.com

    12:04 PM
    WebEx Enterprise Site
     freetrial.webex.com

    12:03 PM
    Check Flash Player
     freetrial.webex.com

    12:03 PM
    Verify Rich Media Players
     freetrial.webex.com

    12:01 PM
    WebEx Enterprise Site
     freetrial.webex.com

    11:56 AM
    People who have joined Customer Commons via the web form
     docs.google.com

    11:56 AM
    Customer Commons | Creating a world of liberated, powerful and respected customers
     customercommons.org

    11:54 AM
    Customer Commons | Join now
     customercommons.org

    11:53 AM
    The Promise of the Personal Cloud | Customer Commons
     customercommons.org

    11:53 AM
    White Paper 1: Users – Google Docs
     docs.google.com

    11:53 AM
    Customer Commons – Google Docs
     docs.google.com

    11:49 AM
    CC Meeting 20120530.docx – Google Docs
     docs.google.com

    11:49 AM
    Customer Commons – Google Docs
     docs.google.com

    With a couple of small exceptions, that was all Customer Commons call stuff.

    11:47 AM
    Why do Mormon girls rule the blogosphere? | Ask Mormon Girl
     askmormongirl.wordpress.com

    11:47 AM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CFEQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Faskmormongirl.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F03%2F01%2Fwhy-do-mormon-girls-rule-the-blogosphere%2F&ei=HXvPT__mL4r06AGujY2IDA&usg=AFQjCNHa_UxHbFe-o3_Php2Y5oXlaw0EEg&sig2=iDT8zgWqgOZG0E0lNFeaeQ
    http://www.google.com

    11:45 AM
    About | dooce®
     dooce.com

    11:45 AM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CE8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdooce.com%2Fabout&ei=HXvPT__mL4r06AGujY2IDA&usg=AFQjCNGIi7D2ji_o0C51F6-lscxwqc7Q9w&sig2=dDkcwK_G4vlytrQ_YtWuTg
    http://www.google.com

    11:45 AM
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=heather%20armstrong%20mormon&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&fp=60909d0e42a1fcbc&ion=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1215&bih=848
    http://www.google.com

    11:45 AM
    http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&sugexp=chrome,mod=5&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=heather+armstrong+mormon
    http://www.google.com

    11:44 AM
     Amazon.com: It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita: Heather Armstrong: Books
    http://www.amazon.com

    11:43 AM
     Amazon.com: Heather Armstrong: Books
    http://www.amazon.com

    11:43 AM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fs%3Fie%3DUTF8%26keywords%3DHeather%2520Armstrong%26rh%3Dn%253A283155%252Ck%253AHeather%2520Armstrong%26page%3D1&ei=o3rPT_Vg4sjqAY_boa8M&usg=AFQjCNH9xlakGgCuAeeUPzdxQIltNm4Uwg&sig2=3lLI18BNwsmQdNMMuM5-gA
    http://www.google.com

    11:43 AM
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&sclient=psy-ab&q=heather%20armstrong%20amazon&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&fp=60909d0e42a1fcbc&ion=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1215&bih=848
    http://www.google.com

    11:43 AM
    http://www.google.com/search?sugexp=chrome,mod=5&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=heather+armstrong+amazon
    http://www.google.com

    11:42 AM
    Twitter / dooce: Cars with license plates f
     twitter.com

    11:41 AM
    Twitter
     twitter.com

    11:41 AM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFcQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fdooce&ei=EXrPT_D-JpKN6AG5yrmODA&usg=AFQjCNFdPzFGS_K_kbvR0hCDanlpw02V9g&sig2=4ZKhzu8gMLk2PMMI7INP4Q
    http://www.google.com

    11:41 AM
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=heather%20armstrong%20on%20twitter&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&fp=60909d0e42a1fcbc&ion=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1215&bih=848
    http://www.google.com

    11:41 AM
    http://www.google.com/search?sugexp=chrome,mod=5&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=heather+armstrong+on+twitter
    http://www.google.com

    11:39 AM
    dooce®
     dooce.com

    Various explorings, looking for posts of Heather Armstrong, of dooce.com, during an email session around Kynetx stuff.

    11:33 AM
    Edit Comment ‹ Doc Searls Weblog — WordPress
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    10:56 AM
    BlueKai | Consumers
    http://www.bluekai.com

    10:53 AM
    BlueKai | BlueKai Registry
    http://www.bluekai.com

    10:52 AM
    BlueKai
    http://www.bluekai.com

    10:51 AM
    BlueKai » Login
     partner.bluekai.com

    10:51 AM
    BlueKai » Login
     partner.bluekai.com

    That was all in response to your comment. Research.

    10:28 AM
    Phil Windley’s Technometria
    http://www.windley.com

    10:26 AM
    Personal Clouds as General Purpose Computers | Phil Windley’s Technometria
    http://www.windley.com

    10:26 AM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CHkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.windley.com%2Farchives%2F2012%2F04%2Fpersonal_clouds_as_general_purpose_computers.shtml&ei=VWjPT6KNNqTo6gGVs8ygDA&usg=AFQjCNHVjKVl0ycKv6vaYTjIvp-JGiObCQ&sig2=vYjN3TnwFV60vwDjh44rBg
    http://www.google.com

    10:26 AM
    Kynetx – This Changes Everything
    http://www.kynetx.com

    10:26 AM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CIEBEBYwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kynetx.com%2F&ei=VWjPT6KNNqTo6gGVs8ygDA&usg=AFQjCNERWWZXwMrRMPSxXfrHd75BvggYhA&sig2=hdMC54hvBsaUny2D0q7sgg
    http://www.google.com

    10:25 AM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CHcQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnewschallenge.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F19360560551%2Fkynetx-personal-cloud-a-networked-model-for-personal&ei=VWjPT6KNNqTo6gGVs8ygDA&usg=AFQjCNHDx5Qm0dNMwajkrqHb2_KRU0Ej4A&sig2=IHsbwKYXfvUAR-agWXul8Q
    http://www.google.com

    10:25 AM
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=personal%20cloud%20kynetx&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&fp=60909d0e42a1fcbc&ion=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1215&bih=848
    http://www.google.com

    10:25 AM
    http://www.google.com/search?sugexp=chrome,mod=5&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=personal+cloud+kynetx
    http://www.google.com

    10:23 AM
    Quantified Self | Self Knowledge Through Numbers
     quantifiedself.com

    Earlier digging on the same Kynetx subject.

    10:20 AM
    Doc Searls Weblog · The absent market for personal data
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    10:20 AM
    Doc Searls Weblog · Same old blog, brand new place
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    10:19 AM
    » Coming to terms ProjectVRM
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    10:19 AM
    ProjectVRM
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    10:18 AM
    projectvrm – Project VRM
     cyber.law.harvard.edu

    10:18 AM
    Project VRM
     cyber.law.harvard.edu

    10:18 AM
    » Wiki ProjectVRM
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    10:17 AM
    Doc Searls Weblog · The absent market for personal data
     blogs.law.harvard.edu

    A round-about way of arriving here in the first place.

    10:17 AM
    Civilization Systems: Issues in Scaling Civilization: The Altruism Dilemma
     culturalengineer.blogspot.com

    10:16 AM
    Civilization Systems: The Chagora Model: Scaling Speech
     culturalengineer.blogspot.com

    Digging something pointed to in an earlier comment.

    9:54 AM
    sloan school fellows – Google Maps
     maps.google.com

    9:49 AM
    Fellows Home – MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership
     mitsloan.mit.edu

    9:49 AM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CG0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmitsloan.mit.edu%2Ffellows%2F&ei=0F_PT5jBItTH6AHa7OGMDA&usg=AFQjCNHpO0Pyn73yLSF_OJVIc6bwEiTppw&sig2=AbqfbzJHWetZ1PZZ3OAvTg
    http://www.google.com

    9:49 AM
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=sloan%20school%20fellows&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&fp=60909d0e42a1fcbc&ion=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1215&bih=848
    http://www.google.com

    9:49 AM
    http://www.google.com/search?sugexp=chrome,mod=5&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=sloan+school+fellows
    http://www.google.com

    Research while talking with a friend about the MIT Sloan Fellows program.

    8:29 AM
    Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to flightaware.com
     flightaware.com

    7:51 AM
    FlightAware – Flight Tracker / Flight Status / Flight Tracking
     flightaware.com

    Tracking my wife’s inbound flight. The second link is a fail, but she had already arrived.

    7:48 AM
    ifttt / Dashboard
     ifttt.com

    7:41 AM
    Scratch | Home | imagine, program, share
     scratch.mit.edu

    7:41 AM
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CHoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fscratch.mit.edu%2F&ei=0UHPT-usNo6d6AH10amyDA&usg=AFQjCNHnFzZ2HIb3CMUOdQMHEioPOKnkUA&sig2=hiuOtPR4pTk7sEa3fK7KzQ
    http://www.google.com

    7:41 AM
    scratch – Google Search
    http://www.google.com

    7:37 AM
    ifttt / About ifttt
     ifttt.com

    7:36 AM
    ifttt / About ifttt
     ifttt.com

    7:36 AM
    ifttt / Join
     ifttt.com

    7:26 AM
    ifttt / Put the internet to work for you.
     ifttt.com

    7:22 AM
    Kynetx – This Changes Everything
     kynetx.com

    Research, comparing Kynetx and ifttt, two VRM companies.

    7:20 AM
    BlueKai | Consumers
    http://www.bluekai.com

    7:20 AM
    BlueKai | Consumers
    http://www.bluekai.com

    7:19 AM
    BlueKai | Consumers
     bluekai.com

    7:19 AM
    BlueKai
     bluekai.com

    First-round look at Bluekai, following reading your comment.

    What in here tells advertisers what I might be interested in — especially in a durable enough way that I might be persistently interested in them?

    I’m not sure.

    Which brings me to an additional issue, which is how we exist, or behave, as customers. Most of the time we’re not in the market for anything. We’re just wandering around, purposefully doing whatever.

    I realize that my trail here is hardly typical of anything (even of me), and at times it will be far more commercially-oriented than it is here. Joe Andrieu’s work on Switchbook — a VRM startup — addresses that kind of scenario, following the intent-trail of a search “map” created by a series of moves in a browser. (Joe might want to weigh in here, since he’s an authority on all this and I’m not.) But my point is that there is an assumption, which might be a good one, that one’s wandering through the world, only some of which is a marketplace, and in a state of mind that is not at all shopping, most of the time, is good-enough fodder for advertisers, and worth being paid for. I don’t know. And I hope you can fill us in more than we are right now.

    Your experience pioneering in this market is, in any case, very interesting to me.

  8. Marc Guldimann’s avatar

    Thanks for the links to Enliken. So, what could an advertiser glean from this snapshot?

    1 – You used Glance and Webex. While you might not be in the market for web presentation software, chances are that you use technology like it often and so might be interested in an offer from GoToMeeting.

    2 – You browsed on amazon for a book by Heather Armstrong. Publishers of similar books would like to reach you with information about their books.

    3 – You were pitched by a company called DataMonitor, a (more affordable) competitor of theirs might be interested in showing you a message.

    You’ve only given us a few hours of data, but over time your history provides a lot more durable information. For example – engagement as someone is shopping normally ramps as they get closer to purchase, after which it trails off. Understanding where consumers are in this process is very important to advertisers.

    Your point about only being a consumer part of the time is spot on. We learned a very important lesson early on at Enliken: 95% of the value to advertisers is locked up in 5% of your data.

  9. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks. A good and helpful response.

    Glance was new to me yesterday when the guy pitching me used it for screen sharing. Worked quite well, actually. It wasn’t a demo sell, but it was a good demo.

    Webex and GoToMyPC I’ve used often for conference calls. When I’ve looked, both have been more expensive than I would like (~$20/month), so maybe an offer would be a good thing, provided it was a good offer.

    What I would prefer is being able, at my end, to intentcast a ready-to-pay signal (put out a personal RFP) to that whole category, for $10 per month for up to 10 users. Because I think that’s about what I would be willing to pay.

    In fact I’d like to escrow that intention (for example, at a bank, where the money is ready to be spent, and the bank itself could vouch for that fact, as well as the trustworthiness of me as a customer), which we’ve been calling EmanciPay. (There is more going on than that link describes, by the way. Some of the parties involved just don’t want to talk about it yet.)

    This would be a good signal to the marketplace, and go in a number of directions. For example, it would make clear what one genuine customer is actually ready to pay. This is useful information, regardless of whether a sale happens. It would spare the companies in the category the effort required to give me more offers that I most likely will ignore. It also might, depending on how my intentcast is expressed, open the way for conversation that can inform both sides.

    For example, 100% of my use would be for board meetings with screen sharings, and the boards I’m on never total more than twelve people and happen no more than once per week. I’d be willing to talk to GoToMyPC and/or Webex if the call were a fact-finding one rather than a sales pitch one.My intentcast might include other non-price information, such as my history of usage with both those companies. If I were tracking that usage on my side (via Quantified Self data gathering routines), I would be glad to share that data. I suppose I could sell it, but that’s not a motivation on my part. At least not yet — though I could see some logic to companies paying users for quantified-selfish acts such as tracking usage, or health practices, or whatever (though it might be hard to factor out gaming of the results by the individual… just thinking out loud here).

    Where I’m going here is toward suggesting that there is a potential context that is broader and richer than what most of us have been talking about so far, and that context opens up when the individual has more ways of signaling intent (along with data) to the marketplace.

  10. Tom Crowl’s avatar

    Thanks Much for link… I’m there!

  11. lnxwalt’s avatar

    What advertisers don’t get is this:

    (1) I don’t use _any_ site because of the ads. I use it because of the content. I understand that ads pay for the content, but any site whose advertisers are too intrusive goes on my blocked list. I was using a webmail provider to send some docs to my home e-mail from work. One of the advertisers gleefully demonstrated that they knew where I work. Say goodbye to one user.

    (2) I don’t care what this or that famous person buys or uses. I don’t care what my friends, family, neighbors, relatives, or coworkers buy or use. I care more that advertisers seem to feel that tracking down who my friends, family members and other relatives, and coworkers are will enable them to persuade me to buy their products.

    (3) When I’m in the market for something, I take the initiative to find out more about the product or service. Non-intrusive ads in the fairly recent past may help me in my research, but creepy and invasive ads chase me away.

    Some examples that I consider intrusive:
    (1) Tracking someone’s location any closer than what city.
    (2) Tracking someone’s web history.
    (3) Tracking someone’s apparent interests any closer than generally knowing that this person likes sports and that person likes diet foods.
    (4) Tracking someone’s employer, college campus, or contacts.
    (5) Moving, flashing, audible ads and ads that expand or otherwise interfere with my enjoyment of the site I visited. Ads that use Javascript/Flash to turn my computer’s resources into an offensive platform in the drive to capture the contents of my wallet.
    (6) Since you bought a book about X, here’s a list of five more books about X. “Since you’re ‘friends’ with Y, here are some others we think you’d like to connect with.” “Since you visited our site using Android, we think you’d like our app!” (I prefer it if you leave me alone to discover what I like on my own.)
    (7) Collecting information about my age, marital/relationship status, number/ages of children, education level, medical condition, political leanings, religious leanings, income.

    You’ll note that except for #5, the list includes factors that have been or are being used to single out individuals and groups for mistreatment. Generally, an advertiser is a corporation, and therefore has quite a bit more power (politically, financially, and in any transaction) than an individual. One of the few ways to ensure that corporations don’t mistreat people based on such factors is to prevent them from collecting the information in the first place.

    In short, BlueKai looks like it is Eric Schmidt / Mark Zuckerberg stalker-level creepy. I’ll be watching for its invasive tentacles.

Comments are now closed.