We got an inquiry today from a business friend who wanted to understand what solutions Clickshare thinks will work when it comes to paying for content.
We replied: “A protocol . . . which provides consumers the opportunity to access services they value, sharing their ‘persona’ selectively as they wish (rather than being creeped out by third-party ad networks), sometimes paying for services of particular value, and sometimes being paid to receive sponsored information, and doing it all from one account, one ID and one bill from the most-trust information agent of their choice (with the choice to quit one and go to any of thousands of others at any time) . . . will succeed.”
That makes a lot of sense, he replied. I thought: “Perhaps, but we have to keep simplifying the message!”
I used the world “creeped” because yesterday I was invited to a journalism talk to a class at an elite Massachusetts college, and when I was finished, I asked the 14 students if they were aware that much of their activity on the web is tracked by someone. Only one or two hands went up. Then I explained how third-party ad serving works, relying upon some excellent reporting in The Wall Street Journal and, just yesterday, USA Today. Then I asked, “How many of you think that is creepy?” All the hands went up. I then asked: “If you could use a free service that would block anyone from gathering personal data about you, would you do so?” All the hands went up again. Finally, I said: “Now, what if you could choose a service that allowed you to selectively turn on and off ads that are relevant to your information interests, would you use it?” A few hands went up.
That’s data, I guess.